WASHINGTON—The Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums, an international association and accrediting body representing marine parks, aquariums, zoos, and research facilities dedicated to the highest standards of care and conservation in the wild through public education and research, has the following response to the issuance of a new draft rule today by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).
“We are reviewing the proposed new language and look forward to the opportunity to comment,”” said Kathleen Dezio, Alliance Executive Director. “Alliance members are committed to the safety and welfare of marine mammals, and we share APHIS’ desire to ensure that the standards are science-based and reflect the professional best practices of the zoological community.”
“The Alliance and our members were active participants in the negotiated rulemaking conducted by APHIS in 1995 and 1996, which successfully reached consensus on 13 of 18 sections of the U.S. Animal Welfare Act (AWA) marine mammal regulations,” Dezio said. “As recognized experts in the field, we welcome the opportunity to provide additional science-based information on the proposed regulations.”
Alliance member facilities comprise the largest body of marine mammal experience and expertise in the world, and their collective knowledge and decades of expertise have led to innovative advances in animal husbandry. Alliance-accredited facilities must meet rigorous standards in a dozen areas including: animal husbandry, animal training, water and environmental quality, breeding, and transportation, among others. These standards are meant to optimize environmental conditions for and the health and welfare of marine mammals in members' care and maximize their educational and scientific value.
Jan. 29, 2016