Zoos and Aquaria
The OHS believes that the best place for wild animals is their natural environment.
The OHS strongly opposes the capture or confinement of any wild animal solely for display,
entertainment and/or education purposes in zoos and aquaria.
The OHS believes that where confinement is necessary, animals must be provided with an environment that fulfills physical, psychological and social needs.
The OHS opposes the selling by zoos or aquaria of their surplus animals for any reason, including hunting or research and supports population control through sterilization and natural attrition.
In the event that a wild or exotic animal is already being used for entertainment purposes, the OHS
supports humane relocation to an appropriate environment that can meet their needs, such as a
reputable animal sanctuary.
The OHS acknowledges the existence of captive breeding programs, however believes that natural
breeding programs involving habitat rehabilitation and wildlife protection are a more sustainable
The OHS supports and encourages public education about wild animals. Viable alternatives to zoos and aquaria exist through video, photos, props and other educational tools; and therefore the OHS supports the humane phasing out of zoos and aquaria through sterilization programs and natural attrition.
The OHS does not support any organizations that:
- Allow direct contact with wild or exotic animals e.g. selfies with the animal
- Deal in the trade of wild or exotic animals
- Transport wild or exotic animals in their care for events e.g. birthday parties, camps, day trips or conferences
- Hire staff who are not qualified and properly trained in animal care
- Utilize any animal (wild or domestic) in any way which may cause the animal undue distress, discomfort or fear.
The OHS encourages members of the public to avoid supporting any organization or companies that use wild or exotic animals for:
- Field trips
- Birthday parties
- Corporate events
- Behind-the-scenes interactions or feedings
- Film and TV
Many organizations or companies who use wild or exotic animals may claim that the animals enjoy the
interactions and are not distressed. While these animals may have been tamed, unlike domestic
animals, they do not benefit from interaction with humans. Additionally, if provoked, they will still act
on instinct, which threatens the lives of members of the public, the animal’s keepers, and the animals
Some groups that use wild or exotic animals for entertainment purposes may claim that their intention
is to educate members of the public about these animals. The OHS believes that the information shared about wild or exotic animals could be presented without the use of captive exotic or wild animals present (through videos, photos and use of props).
The OHS believes that wild or exotic animals have the right to live their lives free of human intervention, and in cases where re-release in the wild in not possible, every effort should be made to provide a living environment that simulates that animal’s natural environment.