MLAPs in many parts of Canada, and particularly Ontario are either loosely regulated or not regulated at all. There are hundreds of businesses, ranging from small, one person, part-time operations to full blown commercial businesses taking all kinds of native and exotic wild animals out to daycares, schools, religious institutions, corporate events, retail businesses, meetings, consumer and trade shows, fairs, parades, for use in videos and film productions and much more.
Many of these businesses promote themselves as educational but there is little evidence that they are educationally productive or that they produce any positive outcomes for animals.
The animals used in MLAPs range from insects and arachnids (such as tarantulas) to big cats and primates, and everything in between. They may be used in children’s parties, meet and greets, animal encounters, photo sessions, presentations, stage shows, mobile zoo exhibits and more.
Zoocheck and World Animal Protection have been working to secure controls on the largely unregulated use of exotic animals by MLAPs across the country. This latest paper provides recommendations that we hope will inform the development of policies and regulations governing this often abusive and cruel industry.
If your school, club or business is considering hiring an MLAP with any kind of native or exotic wild animals, please reconsider and explore other entertainment options for your event.