The Zoological Best Practices Working Group for Disaster Preparedness and Contingency Planning, Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago, IL, USA
Hurricane Katrina proved to be a seminal moment in the management of animals in disasters. As a result of that devastation and confusion, new legislation was proposed and enacted to assist with evacuation and sheltering of household pets and service animals. This call to prepare for disasters extended to the managed wildlife community as well, but would require a different approach. A proposed rule change to the Animal Welfare Act, in final stages of the approval process, will require contingency planning and training of personnel in United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) licensed facilities.
Contingency planning is currently mandated by several States and accrediting bodies (Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, etc.) but there are licensed exhibitors and other wildlife owners who have done little contingency planning. A flexible plan can guide the decision-making process in times of crisis; however, designing a plan is often challenging and time consuming. A working group assembled by Lincoln Park Zoo’s Zoo Animal Health Network, in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture Animal Care, created tools to assist facilities in drafting useful contingency plans. A multitude of references are provided, along with best practices and lessons learned.
This poster will introduce the AAZV community to the materials available to them to assist in drafting or improving contingency plans. The material can be accessed via the following link: www.zooanimalhealthnetwork.org/Home. (VIN editor: Link was not accessible as of 11-10-20.) CDs of the material will be distributed during the poster session.