Cumberland Times-News

Editorials

October 6, 2012

More should be done to protect captive wild animals in zoos

The fact that the Tri-State Zoological Park remains open despite the suspension of the roadside zoo’s license for chronic, serious violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act illustrates deficiencies in the enforcement of the federal law intended to protect animals (“Tri-State zoo appealing license suspension,” Sept. 21 Times-News, Page 1B).

The roadside zoo is challenging the suspension when it should be devoting resources to improving the level of care and complying with the law.

Enforcement actions against a facility by the U.S. Department of Agriculture usually only happen after a long history of citations for violations that is often indicative of pervasive management problems.

 An administrative law judge found the roadside zoo guilty of 15 violations, including failure to provide adequate enclosures to prevent the escape of a lion and a tiger; failure to provide sufficient barriers between the public and big cats; and inadequate perimeter fencing around enclosures containing dangerous wild animals.

Other violations significantly affected the health and well-being of the animals. The facility had been cited repeatedly for failure to provide veterinary care to lame animals; for unsanitary enclosures and a filthy pool, enclosures in disrepair, and for excessive rodents and flies.

 The administrative law judge made many compelling statements in her ruling, including the fact that the Tri-State zoo is not adequately staffed.

The facility relies on volunteers, who have received little to no formal training, instead of professional caretakers.

 All too often, captive wild animals in roadside zoos are kept in grossly substandard conditions.

These attractions may have been popular decades ago, but today there is a much greater understanding of the complex needs of animals such as tigers, lions, bears and primates.

The public should support facilities that are willing to invest in the care of the animals, and those facilities that allow them to exercise and express natural behaviors in a safe environment.

Lisa Wathne, captive wildlife specialist

The Humane Society of the United States

Washington

 

1
Text Only
Editorials
  • About time About time

    Although many Cumberland streets are in need of repair and improvements, the decision by city and county officials to address Greene Street is a good one.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Where is it?

    Once upon a time, the Maryland Chamber of Commerce held its annual conventions at the Bedford Springs resort hotel near Bedford, which is in Pennsylvania.

    July 28, 2014

  • Korean War Korean War

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sloppy lawmaking is to blame

    July 27, 2014

  • C-minus grade C-minus grade

    If a survey conducted by Thumbtack.com and the Kaufman Foundation is an accurate portrayal, Maryland has a long way to go to become a business-friendly state.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Big loophole Big loophole

    How ironic — and how sad — that the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority plans a closed executive session to discuss the open meetings law.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • Preposterous Preposterous

    File this one under the We Thought We’d Heard Everything category: A man who attempted the armed robbery of a pizza shop is now suing the pizzeria and the employees who tackled him and wrestled his gun away during the holdup.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • No secrets No secrets

    The idea of fracturing for natural gas makes many people anxious about potential harmful effects. For that reason alone, it is incumbent on Maryland government to require full disclosure of chemicals used in the process.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don’t do it. Don’t do it

    Temperatures have been moderate recently but are projected to rise to the upper 80s and low 90s later this week, so we want to remind you: Never leave children unattended in a vehicle.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • July 20, 1969 July 20, 1969

    When Apollo 11 landed on the moon 45 years ago today, it was until that time the mostwatched television programming in history.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo