Finding Common Ground in Animal Law: PETA & AZA Member Representative Partnerships

Published by Angelica Castaneda.

The PETA Foundation’s Captive Animal Law Enforcement (CALE) division partners with experts to confront abusive and neglectful conditions endured by captive wildlife at unaccredited facilities, including the solitary confinement of social animals, the use of barren concrete enclosures, the threat of punishment to force animals to participate in traveling performances, and the practices of prematurely separating animals from their mothers and declawing them for photo ops.

With the help of representatives of facilities accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), CALE has done the following and much more:

  • Secured the first-ever court order prohibiting the declawing of big cats, the forcible separation of cubs from their mothers, and the use of cubs for public encounters

  • Transferred black bear Ben and brown bear Bogey from tiny, barren concrete pens at a roadside zoo in North Carolina to a vast habitat in which they can finally climb, dig, run, and hibernate

  • Helped relocate six polar bears who were being held captive by a circus in cramped, overheated cages without access to water for swimming and who were struck and whipped in order to force them to perform tricks.

In the past five years alone, CALE has helped relocate the following animals:

  • 72 bears
  • 39 big cats
  • 10 chimpanzees
  • 1 elephant

The assistance of representatives of AZA members, including for placement and for behavioral, veterinary, and other expertise, is critical to this success. These collaborations are essential to achieving the common goal of ending the worst abuses of captive wildlife by unaccredited exhibitors.

Please join your colleagues who are AZA member representatives in assisting with this important work. Contact PETA Foundation Vice President and Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders in order to find out more or get involved.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind