Last week a bill to ban the use of elephant guides in the state of Virginia was introduced. The bill would have directly affected only one elephant, Asha at the Natural Bridge Zoo. Yesterday, after a hearing in the Agriculture subcommittee, I am happy to say that the bill was tabled. The chairman concluded that Asha is not a dangerous elephant and is loved and well cared for. Removing the elephant guide as a tool would force the zoo to put Asha in a protected contact barn and yard, something that costs millions of dollars and, more importantly, erases a bond of trust built over decades. So great news for Asha, her zoo, and all the visitors that will get to be up close and personal with her.
USDA APHIS proposed rule changes for Class C licensees regarding animal classifications (danger to handlers and the public), classifying different types of human-animal interactions, staff training, and environmental enrichment. Public comments will be accepted until 3/10/23.
United States: APHIS Initiates Rulemaking On Handling Of Wild And Exotic Animals
The window to submit comments regarding African elephant importations has been extended to March 20th.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revision to the Section 4(d) Rule for the African Elephant
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