Canadian zoo owner charged with animal cruelty


Born Free is alarmed by reports that animals have been found in appalling conditions at St-Édouard Zoo, Quebec, Canada

Following a raid at the zoo, SPCA Montreal reportedly found animals lacking food, water and veterinary care, as well as the carcasses of several animals, including two tigers. SPCA Montreal is planning to seize and relocate more than 100 animals, including zebras, kangaroos, camels and primates. The zoo’s owner, Norman Trahan, has been charged and if found guilty faces up to five years in jail and a lifetime ban on owning an animal. This is believed to be the first time a zoo owner in Canada has been charged with criminal animal cruelty.

Dr Chris Draper, Born Free’s Head of Animal Welfare & Captivity, said: “Wild animals are exceptionally vulnerable in captivity and deserve the best possible care and living conditions. This case highlights just how easy it is for zoos to rapidly fail, leading to unimaginable animal suffering.” 

Born Free opposes the exploitation of wild animals in zoos, maintaining that wild animals can and do suffer significantly in captivity. We encourage improvements to animal welfare legislation that affects the lives of wild animals in zoos and support improved care, while encouraging an informed public to consider directing their support away from the keeping of wild animals in zoos and instead towards protecting them in their natural habitats.


Image: Humane Society International