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There may be a few readers out there who chalked up my negativity towards Marineland in the last post as overly sentimental, animal rights hogwash. Turns out, the Toronto Star – a paper I’m not generally a big fan of – has been doing a series on the facility. Their findings, based on ex-employee testimony, are damning: http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/1241961--marineland-animals-suffering-former-staffers-say

It’s an ugly bit of business. Sure, testimony is coming from former employees, which raises a red flag. But it sounds credible. And if you read my description of the black bear pen in my last post, should any of these further allegations surprise us?

I mentioned Zoocheck in my last post, too. Interesting blog post about coyotes in Nova Scotia linked from their main page: http://www.zoocheckperspectives.blogspot.ca/ And here’s a link to reports on their site: http://www.zoocheck.com/reports.html

I’ve tried to find credible reports on Magnetic Hill Zoo. Saw some brief reviews that were very negative. Found this piece of propaganda that, while clearly written with an agenda, would seem to indicate good things may be happening there (last paragraph): http://www.moncton.ca/Visitors/City_Attractions/Magnetic_Hill_Zoo/History_of_the_Magnetic_Hill_Zoo.htm

One positive, from the animal welfare perspective, is that it’s publicly owned. Public facilities can be terrible, of course, but it also may be easier to shame them if they don’t meet animal welfare standards. Ultimately, they have political masters that don’t want bad press.

And in a sense, no news is good news. I’ve Googled the zoo and haven’t found a high-profile case of neglect or animal mistreatment in the short time I’ve looked. A zoological vet at AVC is quoted saying the vet college has a good relationship with the zoo, and a lion the college treated is “under very, very good care” at the zoo.

…None of which guarantees it’s a good facility, but it appears it’s at least not a very bad facility. I feel a little better about my selfish desire to go stare at the pretty animals.

We’ll get back to other topics next post.

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