Protect Zoo Animals From Abuse and Early Death With Mandated Reporting

Target: Kevin Shea, Administrator of the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

Goal: Require all licensed zoos to report all instances of animal mortality at their facility to encourage greater transparency and accountability.

Animals living in captive settings–like zoos, parks, and aquariums–have very limited legal protection. As such, zoos throughout the U.S. can get away with all kinds of animal welfare violations without the looming fear of legal troubles. Animals in zoos are blatantly denied of their natural instincts and habitat ranges, and as a result, often become depressed and extremely stressed–tigers and bears pace back and forth, parrots pluck out their feathers, and dolphins slam themselves into the walls of their enclosures. It is near impossible for zoos to adequately provide the resources necessary to support these wild animals, and many don’t even try. At zoos across the world, animals are denied proper veterinary care, are underfed, shoved in small cages, isolated from their species, and forced to endure extreme, unnatural temperatures that they are not suited for.

It is estimated that 75% of all animals at zoos have suffered from some form of abuse throughout their lives. Most animals have shorter life spans in zoos than in natural settings and, although abuse and premature mortality are part of a typical zoo animals’ experience, little has been done to protect these animals. Zoos should be held accountable for their treatment of wildlife that they have taken the responsibility to care for. And, if they don’t, they should have to confront the law.

Sign this petition to demand an amendment to the Animal Welfare Act that would require zoos to record all instances of animal mortality occurring to animals in their possession. This way, zookeepers will be bound to the law in treating their animals more responsibly and respectfully.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Administrator Shea,

Animals living in captivity–such as at zoos–are provided with only minimal legal protection and, yet, an estimated 75% of all animals at zoos across the world suffer from abuse. Zoo animals are often denied access to veterinary care, underfed, forced to endure extreme weather conditions, isolated from their species, and denied access to other basic necessities with next to no legal repercussions for the owners. It is nearly impossible for zoos to adequately provide wild animals with the resources they need and, as a result, many zoo animals become stressed and depressed.

One way to help ensure that zoos are being held accountable for the treatment of their animals is to legally mandate every zoo owner to report all instances of animal mortality at their facility. We are asking you, Mr. Shea, to help make this necessary amendment to the Animal Welfare Act and do more to protect the fundamental rights of animals in zoos across the nation. Wild animals are not disposable.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Rennett Stowe


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