BOOKS: Wildlife Conservation, Zoos, and Animal Protection: A Strategic Analysis

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 1996:

Wildlife Conservation, Zoos, and
Animal Protection: A Strategic Analysis
Center for Animals & Public Policy
(Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine,
200 Westboro Road, North Grafton, MA
01536), 1996. 254 pages, $30.00, paperback.

Wildlife Conservation, Zoos, and Animal
Protection: A Strategic Analysis, combines the proceedings
of the 1994 White Oak Conservation Center
conference by the same title with original commentary
by Center for Animals and Public Policy director
Andrew Rowan, wildlife expert Jennifer Lewis of the
Massachusetts SPCA, and John Robinson of the
Wildlife Conservation Society, formerly known as the
New York Zoological Society.

“This project,” writes Rowan, “has led us to
conclude that the differences between zoo and animal
protection workers are relatively small and do not justify
the level of publc disharmony between them.”
Lewis offers a detailed set of “Recommendations
for future strategies.” Among them, she suggests
a joint “legislative/regulatory project to address
non-accredited, substandard facilities, such as roadside
zoos”; effort to improve the educational aspects
of zoos; and effort on the part of animal protection
groups to “make a distinction between productive or
progressive zoos and unproductive or regressive zoos.”
Adds Lewis, “Animal protection groups
need to acknowledge that massive changes are taking
place in the way progressive zoos do business; need to
recognize the limited powers of the AZA,” which
largely depends upon voluntary compliance with the
standards it sets; and “have a great deal to gain from
financially supporting specific zoo-based field conservation,
captive breeding, and education programs.”
At the same time, Lewis says, “The zoo
profession should learn to distinguish between animal
protectionists who are open to discussion, reason, and
compromise, and those who are not. The zoo profession
also needs to become less defensive.”
The Journal of the Elephant Manager’s
Association offers a wealth of information to anyone
seriously interested in elephant-keeping and training.
While the triannual journal is available only to EMA
members, non-voting associate memberships are
available at $20/year to anyone who endorses the EMA
goals: “To gather and distribute information for higher
standards of health care, safety and humane treatment
in elephant training and husbandry; to promote the
profession of elephant training and management; to
promote better communication and relations among
elephant managers through the annual workshop and
proceedings.” Membership requests may be sent to
EMA c/o John Lehnhardt, The National Zoological
Park, Washington, DC 20008.

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