A blog by spcaLA president, Madeline Bernstein

Jun 29, 2012

Finally -Stronger California Regulations Governing Captive Wildlife

courtesy google images
Stronger state regulations dealing with the inspection of places that house wild animals have finally been approved by the California Department of Fish and Game Commission. As a member of the state-appointed Department of Fish and Game Captive Animal Advisory Committee that developed these new regulations I am happy to report that some progress has been made and cautiously optimistic that there will be more to come.

For example: despite state laws mandating that facilities handling these animals, such as private collections, sanctuaries, zoos, and circuses be inspected by the Department of Fish and Game to ensure the well-being of the animals and the safety of the public, the Department was allowing compliance through self-inspection. In other words, a facility’s own veterinarian was signing the forms that all was well! New regulations will mandate that the Department conduct these inspections and not personnel hired by the compound.

The goal of these new regulations is to make sure that captive wildlife is treated humanely, contained securely, and handled by qualified entities so as to reduce the danger to the public and the heartbreak of an animal’s untimely killing should he or she escape an insufficient enclosure. We all remember the chaos when
loose wild animals were gunned down in Ohio, the fatal attack of a teen after a tiger at the San Francisco Zoo escaped, the group of tigers that escaped in Moorpark or the mauling of two people by a chimp.

Maybe someday we will reach a place where wild animals are not held for sport, exhibition, entertainment or whim.

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