SILVER SPRING, Md. – Tomorrow, the Michigan House Agriculture Committee will consider House Bill 5778. The bill will make changes to Michigan’s Large Carnivore Act. Due to a drafting error in the original law of 2000, it has been a violation of the law to breed large carnivores in the state of Michigan. In anticipation of the consideration of H.B. 5778, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) issued the following statement:
One month ago, AZA brought to the attention of Michigan legislators some concerns it had with proposed changes to the state’s Large Carnivore Act. AZA believes the legislative language has now been revised sufficiently to correct the original drafting errors and allow AZA-accredited facilities to breed large carnivores in Michigan legally. The substitute bill language that will be offered during committee consideration addresses the concerns that AZA had with the bill as introduced and removes unnecessary permitting requirements for AZA members who voluntarily submit to the world’s most rigorous accreditation process and standards.
Accordingly, AZA supports H.B. 5778 with the substitute language and urges swift adoption of the legislation. The passage of this bill will allow AZA-accredited facilities in Michigan to do what they are recognized globally for doing: scientifically and ethically managing their animals while leading efforts to save animals from extinction.
In addition, AZA believes it is of utmost importance to assure that dangerous animals, like large carnivores, are only under the care of highly qualified professional institutions. We advocate for this policy at state and federal levels. For example, in the U.S. Congress, we support the Big Cat Public Safety Act (H.R. 1818), which has 123 bipartisan cosponsors and would prohibit private ownership of large cats.
Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, animal welfare, education, science, and recreation. AZA is the accrediting body for the top zoos and aquariums in the United States and eight other countries. Look for the AZA accreditation logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. The AZA is a leader in saving species and your link to helping animals all over the world. To learn more, visit www.aza.org.
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