One of the rescued animals has already been relocated to a primate sanctuary.
Dozens of animals including zebras, dogs, lemurs, nilgai antelopes, peccary pigs, macaws, an eland antelope, and an olive baboon have been finally removed from an Ontario roadside zoo thanks to Animal Justice’s efforts.
The animals belonged to Bervie Zoo in Kincardine, and were rescued following an inspection warrant, a court case before the Ontario Animal Care Review Board, and a months-long legal battle.
Plight of zoo animals
According to the nonprofit, the animal welfare inspectors found the animals neglected, emaciated, and living in filthy conditions.
The zebras had overgrown hooves, which meant that they didn’t get proper hoof care. The macaw parrots were not getting enough food and were not exercising enough, causing them to get weak. The baboon was living by itself in a dark cage with no access to fresh air and had developed hair loss and skin issues due to the stress of being alone without anything to amuse it.
The animal organization confirmed that after the animals were removed, the baboon was sent to Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary, which has named him Bruno. The moneky has taken well to his new surroundings with his health and confidence improving after living outdoors and interacting with others monkeys of the sanctuary.
Canada’s regulation of zoos
This isn’t the first time Animal Justice has highlighted the plight of Bervie Zoo’s animals. In an exposé of roadside zoos, broadcasted last year on CTV’s W5, the charity captured clippings of a monkey named Boogie performing troubling repetitive motions and appearing to bite himself.
The court ordered the roadside zoo to pay $105,000 in reimbursement to the province of Ontario to cover veterinary expenses and boarding costs.
According to the charity, zoos in Canada are largely unregulated and lack federal laws or mandatory inspections to ensure animal safety.
Ontario is especially concerning, as it has the most zoos with substandard care.
Despite gross violations, the government has allowed these inadequate places to stay open and operate without the need for any provincial license, permit, or oversight.
Moreover, the laws in Ontario are too weak for them to even be able to shut down a zoo regardless of the suffering of the animals.
Reports of mistreatment in Canadian zoos are often brought to light, but the government and law enforcement rarely, if ever, take any action.
- Read: After dogs, squirrels are being trained to sniff out drugs. Is this public service or animal abuse?
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