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At the Council meeting on June 20, 2016, Cobourg citizen Diane Storen spoke against permitting travelling zoos in Cobourg.  She said “Currently any person, business or non-profit calling themselves educational is exempt from the Town of Cobourg bylaw” which would otherwise ban them.  She asked that the by-law regulating exotic animals (By-law No.059-2004) be modified to “ban Mobile zoos, displays and exhibits that feature wild animals”.  At the Council meeting on October 24, Brent Larmer By-law Enforcement and Policy Coordinator will recommend that her request be denied because “the issues raised are appropriately addressed within Section 3 of the existing by-law.”

The relevant parts of bylaw 059-2004 are:

2. No person shall operate or carry on a public show, exhibition, performance or circus in which a wild or exotic animal is required to perform for the amusement or entertainment of an audience within the Town of Cobourg.
3. Notwithstanding the provisions of clause 2, nothing in this by-law shall prohibit or restrict an educational display or program offered by an organization accredited by the Canadian Association of Zoological Parks [now Canada's Accredited Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA)

Download the full bylaw here.

snakeThat is, section 3 provides for exemptions to organizations accredited by Canada's Accredited Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA).  It seems Diana did not have faith that organizations belonging to CAZA would adequately look after animals or protect the health of people since “most of what these businesses do is simply entertainment and the animals are the marketing hook.” 
In her June presentation, Diane said:

Mobile zoos, presentations and exhibits are entirely unregulated in Ontario. There is no licensing, no standards of animal housing, management and care, no safety standards, no educational requirements and almost no oversight.

Download Diane’s letter to Council here.

But Brent said:

CAZA is a private charitable organization representing the country’s leading zoological parks and aquariums (and) is committed to the advancement of accredited zoos and aquariums as humane agencies of animal welfare, conservation, science and education.

The result of Brent’s recommendation (download his memo here - no attachments) would be that only the accredited organizations listed on the CAZA site could operate a travelling zoo in Cobourg (see list here)

It’s not mentioned whether the reptiles at the Busker festival in June were covered by the exemption or not or even if that was considered  It was held about a week before Diane’s presentation.  (Photo above from that)

Note that CAZA says on their web site:

* CAZA does not grant or rescind operating licences or license the keeping of animals by zoological institutions. In Canada, the granting of licences is the purview of provincial and/or municipal governments.


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