Sep 13, 2018
Zoo veterinarian Dr. Lara Croft discusses the conflict that arises when new animal laws and regulations crafted by anti-zoo interests place veterinarians at odds with their professional ethics to “do no harm."
In the most notable case to date, when CA Governor Jerry Brown signed the ironically named Orca Protection and Safety Act in 2016, he placed zoo veterinarians at legal odds with their professional ethics. Specifically, this law and increasingly, others like it require veterinarians violate their ethical standards by forcing them to medically treat and manage these animals in such a way as to permanently prevent breeding for years or even decades, regardless of the known and unknown long term risks to animal health and well-being.
The legal implications for veterinarians responsible for other charismatic species, like elephants, primates, and big cats in human care set by this precedent, which essentially circumvents at the state level those federal processes overseeing the care, treatment, and display of wild and endangered species via landmark legislation like the AWA, ESA and MMPA, is unmistakable.