Stop Zoos from Loaning Animals

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Originally Posted: 4 Oct 2010

Stop Zoos from Loaning Animals

FROM Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF)

ACTION

Contact zoos in your area and ask them to document their policies on "loaning" animals.

Find Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited zoos here.

Email any responses you get to ALDF.

INFORMATION / TALKING POINTS

Discovered by police investigating an assault case, scores of allegedly neglected reptiles -- many reportedly ill or with injuries, some already dead -- were rescued from Terry Cullen's Milwaukee County, Wisconsin residence in May 2010.

In yet another example of the link between animal abuse and violence against humans, Cullen is facing charges related to alleged animal abuse, sexual assault and false imprisonment.

Cullen had presented himself as a reptile collector for years, and many of the animals in his possession, including endangered species, were reportedly loaned to him by zoos. That only a handful of these zoos are reported to have come forward to take responsibility for the animals they had given to Cullen "on loan" is no surprise to seasoned wildlife rescuers.

Contact the zoos in your state and ask them to document their policies on "animal loans" for you. Many zoos benefit from taxpayer dollars, and the public should expect there to be a goal of lifetime responsibility with respect to each animal a zoo accepts into its charge, with a clear and transparent record-keeping system in place to discourage untraceable animal dealing.

It is unfortunately a rare zoo that meets this responsibility with any meaningful accuracy -- breeding programs resulting in animal "surpluses," a zoo's dependence on entrance gate profits and the public's demand for "newer and cuter" all contribute to a zoo's participation in the revolving doors of the exotic animal trade industry.


Thank you for everything you do for animals!