This is a statement from the Executive Director of Canada's Accredited
Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA) in reaction to the recent decisions by the
Copenhagen Zoo with respect to a giraffe in its collection
OTTAWA, Feb. 10, 2014 /CNW/ - "The story from the Copenhagen Zoo raises
two key issues: whether euthanasia is an acceptable form of population
control among captive populations; and whether the decision to use that
event as a teachable moment was appropriate.
CAZA members work closely with other accredited zoos in Canada and
around the world to ensure the healthiest and most diverse genetic
makeup for the animals in our care.
In addition to helping ensure the health of these animals, these
practices have resulted in a number of important conservation and
species reintroduction success-stories - the black-footed ferret and
the Rocky Mountain Northern leopard frogs being two examples.
One aspect of any effective and ethical captive breeding program is
taking steps to ensure responsible population management control (i.e.
birth control, separate males/females to control breeding, relocation,
The euthanasia of animals is a very difficult and sensitive practice
that must be done following careful reflection and search of
alternatives, including transfer. Each CAZA accredited zoo must have a
detailed euthanasia policy in place and follow generally accepted
procedures to ensure the practice is carried out in a humane fashion.
One of the key missions of Canada's accredited zoos and aquariums is to
promote a better understanding of the natural world. Our members act as
bridges between an increasingly urban population and a natural
environment under growing human encroachment.
The animals in our care are ambassadors for their species in the wild.
They are key players in our education programs. And visitors to our
institutions interact with them in ways that are appropriate for the
species involved and that create a positive learning environment and
clear lessons for all age groups.
While we understand that the Copenhagen Zoo saw this as a "teachable
moment" and an opportunity to educate visitors on what, in the wild, is
a natural occurrence, we believe that the educational value of such
demonstrations must be assessed very carefully against their potential
to shock and desensitize, and to raise additional and difficult
questions, particularly among children".
SOURCE: Canada's Accredited Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA)
For further information:
Massimo Bergamini (613) 290 5317 or firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @CAZA_ED