Mountain View allegations put spotlight on flaws in new provincial legislation
VANCOUVER, Dec. 14 /CNW/ - The Vancouver Humane Society (VHS) is questioning the value of new B.C. zoo regulations, which will base permits on zoo standards set by the Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA). The Mountain View Conservation Society, currently the subject of animal cruelty allegations by present and former employees, is accredited by CAZA.
VHS is calling for a government investigation of Mountain View, and a review of the criteria for granting zoo permits, which are presently being accepted by the Ministry of the Environment.
"If the allegations against Mountain View are true, then CAZA standards are utterly meaningless," said Peter Fricker, Projects and Communications Director for VHS. "Even in the event Mountain View emerges from this debacle with no charges, it's important to recognize that CAZA is a member-driven organization, made up of the very facilities it is responsible for monitoring."
Fricker cites the length of time between inspections by CAZA - the accreditation inspection is only done once every five years - and points out that the West Edmonton Mall is an accredited facility. "What kind of an organization would accredit a shopping mall as having acceptable standards for captive wildlife?"
VHS has serious concerns about the application process currently underway. The application requires facilities to submit plans explaining how they intend to house and care for their animals. But the Ministry has not published detailed standards, so it is unclear what criteria have to be met to obtain a permit.
Under new provincial regulations captive animal facilities in B.C. have until February 1, 2010 to apply for a permit. The regulations were introduced following the death of Tanya Dumstrey-Soos after a captive tiger reached out of its enclosure and slashed her, severing an artery in her leg in 2007.
SOURCE Vancouver Humane Society
For further information: For further information: Peter Fricker, Projects and Communications Director: (604) 266-9744, Cell: (604) 603-5401