Shut Down Guzoo Animal Farm
For years, both locals and visitors from around the world have spoken out against a decrepit private menagerie in Alberta called GuZoo, widely considered to be the worst roadside zoo in Canada. A retired Toronto zookeeper called the zoo a “disgrace to the people of Alberta and those who care about animals,” while a Calgary keeper said that the facility was “[g]rossly substandard and filthy.” A report by our colleagues at Zoocheck Canada found more than 100 violations of the standards for zoos, which provide for only the bare minimum of husbandry practices.
In June 2011, Alberta’s Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development announced that it would decommission GuZoo, largely because of the risk of disease transmission to the public from filthy, feces-ridden animal enclosures in which carcasses were left to rot. In October 2012, despite not providing any assurance that the zoo was in compliance with Alberta’s standards for captive animals, the ministry’s Fish and Wildlife Division quietly issued another permit to GuZoo.
Celebrity activists such as Bob Barker have already expressed their concern for these animals, and you can, too.
Please contact those responsible for captive animals in Alberta and ask that GuZoo be closed permanently and that the animals be relocated to reputable sanctuaries.
To personalize your letter, you can read Zoocheck’s latest report on GuZoo.
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SAMPLE LETTER | SOURCE CCAAWPS
Dear Premier Redford, Honorable McQueen, Wildrose Party Leader Smith, NDP Party Leader Mason, Liberal Party Leader Sherman:
I am writing you to express my concern regarding the appalling living conditions of the animals and the lack of safety precautions for visitors at Guzoo Animal Farm, in Three Hills, Alberta. The court case dealing with Guzoo’s judicial review has been adjourned for many months with no explanation from any party, and Guzoo remains open, despite the order to decommission and close Guzoo from the Alberta government in June 2011.
After over 20 years of government inaction regarding this deplorable roadside zoo, I was ecstatic when the Alberta Government’s Department of Sustainable Resource Development (SRD) announced they were shutting it down with no appeal in June 2011.
However, even though Guzoo owners claimed that they didn’t have enough money to upgrade the facilities, they were able to afford to hire a lawyer for an expensive appeal process. Thousands of people, including myself, are shocked, frustrated, and disillusioned that the SRD has apparently caved to Guzoo with no explanation.
Although concerned people, myself included, are pleased that this matter will eventually be resolved in court, we are concerned that Guzoo is no longer a pressing issue for the Alberta Government. Above all, we are concerned that the Guzoo will continue to disregard legitimate complaints regarding public safety and animal welfare. This concern is not unfounded, considering the Guzoo’s blatant disregard for the court-ordered conditions that had been agreed upon prior to the facility being permitted to reopen. Guzoo is supposed to be operating under multiple court-ordered conditions, many of which have been violated, including public contact with controlled species such a wolves.
I am still wondering how the government’s enforcement arm, SRD, can ignore the report from the May 2011 CAZA-led investigation of Guzoo, based on Alberta Zoo Standards? The report clearly shows that the June 1st, 2011, decommission was not recommended solely due to record-keeping or aesthetic problems with Guzoo Animal Farm, as Guzoo’s owners have claimed.
There are many shocking revelations mentioned in the investigative report. One particularly heartbreaking and stunning piece of information is the account of a bear who died recently after attempting to dig out of her enclosure and become trapped in the resulting hole. The bear was not removed and perished in the pit she had dug. Animals were often fed unsafe road kill, and one tiger died as a result of consuming “dead stock tainted with barbiturate”.
Deficiencies with regard to animal care, husbandry, staff training, animal health, public safety, and public health are all outlined within the report. The report also makes it very clear that not only does Guzoo have deficiencies in all areas of zoo operations, but it also outlines how unlikely, if not impossible, it would be for the zoo to ever be brought up to the arguably minimal Alberta Zoo Standards.
You can read the report at http://tinyurl.com/cazafullreport.
The operation of Guzoo Animal Farm has been an ongoing issue for over two decades, and it is an embarrassment to the majority of Albertans. The internet is full of reviews from foreign visitors decrying Alberta for our lack of animal welfare concern after their visits to Guzoo; there is no reason for this facility to remain open. Please consider the mountains of evidence against this facility and what keeping them open says about the regulatory powers of this government.
I look forward to your response.
guzoo animal farm.
its cruelty, appalling.
the conditions their
animals live in,
would have anyone’s
neglect and misery,
and refusing to abide.
the whole world
knows about them
now they cannot hide.
so those of you
with the power
of yes or no.
please shut down
it has to go!!!!
Karen Lyons Kalmenson