SILVER SPRING, Md. – Today, the Michigan Senate will consider Michigan 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 a possible Senate substitute amendment to H.B. 5778, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) issued the following statement:
This past April, AZA brought to the attention of Michigan legislators some concerns it had with proposed changes to the state’s Large Carnivore Act. Legislators in the Michigan House acted in good faith and adopted a compromise that sufficiently addresses the concerns AZA had with the bill as introduced, removing unnecessary permitting requirements for AZA members who voluntarily submit to the world’s most rigorous accreditation process and standards.
However, AZA understands a possible amendment to H.B. 5778 could be offered during Senate consideration that would undo the previously agreed upon compromise. The substitute amendment will remove a key provision that would require additional oversight of those facilities that do not adhere to the AZA accreditation standards.
AZA believes it is of utmost importance to assure that dangerous animals, like large carnivores, are only under the care of highly qualified professional facilities. For that reason, if the substitute amendment language is adopted by the Senate, AZA recommends that senators reject the bill outright. Should the bill pass and head to Governor Snyder for his signature, AZA would strongly recommend he veto the bill.
We remain hopeful an acceptable compromise can be reached.
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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