Zookeepers are protesting a Senate bill to restrict the public display of elephants and apes. Exotic animals in Canada enjoy the highest standards of care, the Senate legal and constitutional affairs committee was told.

“Facilities adhere to extremely stringent standards and are recognized by their peers worldwide for their dedication to animal welfare,” said a petition by Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums. “The reality is that great apes and elephants in Canada are already held under recognized best practices.”

Bill S-15 An Act To Amend The Criminal Code would prohibit any new capture or breeding of an “elephant or great ape” in captivity with exceptions for “scientific research,” veterinary care, conservation or best interests of the animal. The bill’s preamble states: “Parliament is of the view that science establishes certain animals, particularly elephants and great apes, should not because of the cruelty it represents be kept.”

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