Tell the USDA to protect captive wild animals

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Prohibit public contact with COVID-susceptible species

Dear Secretary Vilsack,

Roadside zoos often cruelly mistreat and mishandle animals for the sake of "entertainment." Zoos that allow petting and handling of captive wild animals are especially cruel to the animals and pose a threat to public safety.

USDA's April 2021 Animal Care Tech Note, Guidance for Zoos and Captive Wildlife Facilities: Protecting Susceptible Animals From SARS-CoV-2 Infection must be revised to prohibit public encounters and hands-on activities with COVID-susceptible species - including big cats, nonhuman primates, ferrets, mink and otters. Although the Tech Note acknowledges that COVID-19 poses a threat to numerous species, its suggestions for protecting these animals, which include ensuring that the public cannot come within 6 feet of susceptible species and that hands-on encounters should be suspended, are being roundly ignored. Public interaction with otters, primates and other susceptible species continues at zoos across the country.

Please protect species who are susceptible to COVID-19 by requiring all licensees to discontinue using them in public encounters and hands-on activities.


Signed,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]

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