TAKE ACTION FOR ONTARIO'S WILDLIFE IN CAPTIVITY
CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT WHAT'S GONE ON IN ONTARIO
When it comes to wild animals in captivity Ontario has often been referred to as the "wild west." That's because Ontario has
no zoo licensing, no regulations, no comprehensive, objective standards for animal housing, care and management, no prohibition on the keeping
of dangerous animals as pets and almost no oversight of wildlife in captivity facilities.
In 2012 and 2013 tens of thousands of Ontarians expressed concern
about the lack of laws and regulations for wildlife in captivity, particularly for marine mammals, but the Ontario government has chosen to do nothing about it. Their
2013 stakeholder consultation process and October 2013 announcement about new, improved measures to protect animals in Ontario contained nothing to help
captive wild animals. Not a single key item discussed in the consultation was included in the government's announcement.
THE ONTARIO SITUATION
- A license is required to keep some native animals in captivity, but the minimal conditions associated
with the license are not enforced.
- There is NO licensing, NO regulations and NO comprehensive, objective enforceable standards for keeping exotic (non-native) animals in captivity.
Anyone can acquire and keep exotic animals regardless of their knowledge, experience or financial ability to provide
proper housing and care. No permit is required, no specific standards must be satisfied and no government
inspections take place.
- The Ontario SPCA Act Regulation 60/09 contains general standards of care for animals and for
wildlife in captivity, but they are minimal, non-specific or vague, subject to a high degree of interpretation,
- Zoos, aquariums and others who keep wild animals do not have to provide inventory reports regarding their live collections. There are no requirements to report or make public animal acquisitions, dispositions and deaths.
- Zoos, aquariums and others who keep wild animals do not have to abide by safety regulations to protect the public.
- Zoos, aquariums and other people and businesses who keep exotic animals operate at a standard of their own choosing.
- There is no federal government requirement for public notification prior to the importation of many marine mammals, such as beluga whales. Many animals can be brought into Canada in relative secrecy.
For more information about the current status of wildlife in captivity in Ontario, read A Review of Zoos
in Ontario. Has Anything Changed?
To learn more about safety in Ontario's roadside zoos read Wild Neighbours, The Safety and
Security of Ontario's Wildlife in Captivity Facilities
WRITE TO YOUR MPP
Send a letter or email to your own elected Member of Provincial Parliament. Ask them to assist in
pushing for a comprehensive law to control zoos, menageries and aquariums and to set rules and regulations for their
humane and safe operation.
If you don't know who your representative is, then
CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT.
WRITE TO THE PREMIER
Voice your concern about the conditions at Marineland and the lack of rules, regulations and oversight of
zoos, menageries and aquariums in Ontario. Urge the Premier to push forward with a tough regulatory regime
that incorporates licensing, evolving standards, punitive measures for non-compliance and a legitimate process
for public complaints to be considered. Tell him we don't just need a one time investigation of one facility because it's
in the news, we need proper licensing, regulation and oversight of all zoos, menageries and aquariums in the
Premier Kathleen Wynne
Main Legislative Building
Toronto, ON M7A 1A1
Or send the Premier an email from her website:
Urge the Premier to follow through on the Ontario government's promise to do something to help wildlife in captivity
in Ontario. Tell the Premier we need laws to control zoos, menageries and aquariums, to safeguard the
interests and wellbeing of wild animals and to protect public safety. At the present time, captive
wildlife facilities are not comprehensively
regulated by any official agency. Since no Ontario ministry is willing to accept responsibility for
captive wildlife, it is up
to the Premier to move this issue forward .
Also send a letter or email to the Honourable Madeleine Meilleur, Minister of Community
Safety and Correctional Services. In October 2012 she announced that changes would be made to Ontario's
laws to better protect marine animals and other animals in captivity.
The Honourable Madeleine Meilleur
Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services
18th Floor, George Drew Building
25 Grosvenor Street
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1Y6
MAKE A COMPLAINT
If you encounter poor conditions or cruel practices in any of
Ontario's zoos, menageries or aquariums, file a complaint with the Ontario SPCA at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Copy your correspondence to
MORE THINGS TO DO
Learn the issues and make an informed decision about whether you want to support wildlife display facilities.
Do not support roadside zoos and menageries. Deciding to stay away from these
businesses is a significant and important first step in stopping their proliferation. If people don't go, they won't stay
open for long.
- If you choose not to support wildlife display facilities, let them know why.
- Make your family, friends and co-workers aware of the reality of wildlife in captivity.
- Write a letter-to-the-editor, so even more people are informed. Letters to the Editor are often the most read
section of a newspaper.
- Make an informed decision about whether your child attends school field trips to wildlife display facilities.
Inform your child's school and your local school board about why you believe these businesses
are not appropriate for school visits. Read Wild Neighbours
to learn about safety issues in zoos.
- When traveling, make an extra effort to
visit natural areas where you can enjoy truly wild nature.
- If you work in a zoo, menagerie or aquarium and don't like what's going on, consider becoming
a whistleblower. Insiders have been instrumental in exposing and correcting neglect, cruelty and mistreatment.