Zoos are a fact of life. They have a responsibility to give every animal humane, professional care. Some strive to meet this standard, keeping animals in displays resembling their natural habitats as closely as possible. Others fail miserably, betraying the animals and the public. How’s your zoo?
The vast majority of animal exhibitors licensed by the federal government do not meet industry accreditation standards. Thousands of animals suffer in roadside zoos and menageries.
Inhumane conditions teach children the wrong message, seeming to condone indifference. Zoos should educate about how animals live in the wild, and help preserve them there.
Zoos owe animals lifetime care. If they cannot provide proper care they should relocate animals to appropriate facilities—never into the exotic pet trade.
Because public opinion and spending are important to zoos’ success, you can be a powerful force in improving the treatment of animals in zoos.
News & Events
January 17, 2014
A roadside zoo big cat breeder in California is seeking to weaken that state’s exotic pet law, which protects public safety and animal welfare. California’s is one of the oldest such laws, requiring permits and inspections for facilities exhibiting dangerous wild animals.
December 4, 2013
“Maryland’s Fatal Attractions,” a report detailing inhumane and unsafe conditions at Maryland’s roadside zoos, uncovered an extreme lack of basic care and filthy conditions at facilities housing dangerous animals such as big cats, bears and primates. The Humane Society of the United States commissioned two experts—Mel Richardson, DVM, and Richard Farinato—representing more than 80 years of collective experience with captive animals to visit and evaluate three roadside zoos in Maryland: Catoctin Zoo in Thurmont, Plumpton Park Zoo in Rising Sun and Tri-State Zoo in Cumberland.
October 23, 2013
The Los Angeles City Council passed a motion directing the city attorney to draft an ordinance to prohibit the use of bullhooks and other tools to inflict pain for the purpose of training and controlling the behavior of elephants used in circuses and traveling shows to take effect in three years.
October 5, 2013
Cynthia Armstrong, Oklahoma state director of The Humane Society of the United States, released a statement in response to a female employee at the G.W. Exotic Animal Park in Wynnewood, Okla. being mauled by an adult tiger
June 11, 2013
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced a proposal to protect all chimpanzees under the Endangered Species Act.
June 7, 2013
Gov. Peter Shumlin signed legislation that prohibits the importation and possession of wild pigs and their hybrids into law. House Bill 101, introduced by Rep. David Deen, D-Windham, bans feral pigs from captive hunts – fenced pens where trophy-seekers pay to shoot the trapped animals for guaranteed kills.
May 14, 2013
A roadside zoo in Mississippi has lost its exhibitor license after 43 years. The U.S. Department of Agriculture revoked the license following an undercover investigation and legal complaints to state and federal officials by The Humane Society of the United States.
April 8, 2013
The Humane Society of the United States commends the Arkansas legislature for passage of House Bill 1391, a bill to prohibit the future private possession of apes (which includes chimpanzees), baboons and macaque monkeys.