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Zoo Best Practices Working Group

 

The mission of the Zoological Best Practices Working Group is to promote a culture of all hazards contingency planning and preparedness for the managed wildlife community. To that end, the group will research, prepare, review and disseminate documents to assist facilities in drafting their own contingency plans. The Working Group will encourage facilities to work with first responders, local emergency management and other stakeholders to draft useful plans that are integrated into their jurisdictional emergency management infrastructure.

On January 30th, 2013, USDA enacted a final rule change to the Animal Welfare Act. This rule change now requires USDA regulated animal facilities including exhibitors, dealers, handlers, carriers, and research facilities to not only develop a contingency plan for disaster and emergency preparedness but also to train their employees on those plans. All facilities have until July 29, 2013 to develop a contingency plan. Facilities then have until September 27, 2013 to train all employees on their roles and responsibilities in order to implement the plan. Plans do not need to be submitted to USDA APHIS. The plan should, however be available to Animal Care inspectors if requested during a facility inspection. There is no standard format or template to follow in plan development because effective plans must be tailored to the individual facility.

                                    UPDATE FROM THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
"On December 31, 2012, we published a final rule (77 FR 76814-76824) establishing regulations under which research facilities and dealers, exhibitors, intermediate handlers, and carriers must meet certain requirements for contingency planning and training of personnel. In this document, we are issuing a stay of those regulations in order that we may undertake a review and analysis of such requirements. We intend to conduct this additional review to further consider the impact of contingency plan requirements on regulated entities, taking into account a reexamination of any unique circumstances and costs that may vary by the type and size of businesses."

While this regulation is currently undergoing review and analysis by the USDA, ZAHN encourages you to continue your planning.  Even the best plans should be reviewed and updated regularly.

 

Further information on the final rule may be found on USDA APHIS’ website, found here. A webinar on contingency planning is also available here. Considerable attention must be paid to the challenges of emergency care and treatment, obtaining transportation resources, and arranging alternate housing during disasters when developing a contingency plan. Though not required by the USDA APHIS rule, it is also beneficial for facilities to consider general business contingency planning issues, such as managing staff, financial continuity, data preservation, communications, and recovery.

The documents from the Zoo Best Practices Working Group have been designed as a starting point for basic information on drafting contingency plans. Click the View Documents button and view Zoo Roadmap to get an overview of the plan development process. The Working Group materials contain basic planning recommendations and best practices in a ‘check box’ format.


Emergency planners must remember that emergencies start and end locally. Therefore, many wildlife facilities cannot create an effective plan without the help of the local jurisdictional authorities such as law enforcement and fire departments. These professionals, along with local jurisdictional emergency managers and other stakeholders will assist a facility in drafting plans that can be integrated into the local response structure. They may also assist the facilities that are part of the public sector in determining the best format to use for their written plans.

THE PROCESS Minimize

The first workshop of the ZBPWG was held in January 2010 at Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo to consider potential disasters and emergency preparedness. Participants included those from various animal industry groups, and a diverse group of dedicated experts. The history of zoos and exotic animal facilities and disasters was discussed. Compelling presentations were made by representatives from Central Florida Zoo, Audubon Zoo and Los Angeles Zoo as they shared their experiences responding to major disasters such as hurricanes and wildfires. Hazards unique to this distinctive community, such as the inherent danger of working around exotic animals, were debated. These early exercises prepared the way for conducting research and drafting documents to guide those who manage wildlife on how to write useful plans for their own facilities.

JANUARY 2010 MEETING

 

JANUARY 2011 MEETING
JANUARY 2010 CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS (Click to view, Esc to close)

New Orleans Zoo

New Orleans Zoo
Larry Rivarde shared a presentation outlining how the New Orleans Zoo met the challenges of Hurricane Katrina

Larry Rivarde shared a presentation outlining how the New Orleans Zoo met the challenges of Hurricane Katrina

Los Angeles Zoo

Los Angeles Zoo
Curtis Eng showed how animals were relocated to safe areas during Southern California wildfires

Curtis Eng showed how animals were relocated to safe areas during Southern California wildfires

Florida Zoos

Florida Zoos
Joe Mantisano presented the difficulties Florida Zoos confronted in the aftermath of hurricanes

Joe Mantisano presented the difficulties Florida Zoos confronted in the aftermath of hurricanes

Texas Fires 2011

Texas Fires 2011
TACH Responds to Raging Fires throughout Texas

TACH Responds to Raging Fires throughout Texas

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

This project was cooperatively funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Animal Care (AC) program. Dr. Yvonne Nadler with the Lincoln Park Zoo directed the project. The project was overseen for USDA APHIS by Dr. Kevin Dennison.
The members of the working group included collaborators from zoos, wildlife rehabilitation centers, animal sanctuaries, exotic game ranchers, veterinarians, and USDA. The documents available here represent this collaboration.

Jereme Altendorf
US Coast Guard
Gene Field
Illinois Dept. Agriculture
Frank Kohn
US Fish & Wildlife
Larry Rivarde
Audubon Institute
Lori Arent
The Raptor Center
Patty Finch
Glob'l Fed Anim'l Sanct.
Jim Kunkle
IL Dept Agriculture
Ian Robinson
In'l Fnd Anim'l Welf're
William Baker
Panthera Research
Ray Flynn
USDA
Jeanie Lin
USDA
Megan Ross
Lincoln Park Zoo
Dawn Barksdale
USDA
Laurie Gage
USDA
Mark Lloyd
Humane Society
Anna Ruman
USDA
Gretchen Bickert
Phoenix Zoo
Katie Gillespie
Lincoln Park Zoo
Bonnie Lockwood
Lincoln Park Zoo
Rachel Santymire
Lincoln Park Zoo
Jeleen Briscoe
USDA
Nick Gilman
Glob'l Fed Anim'l Sanct.
Mike Mace
S. Diego Zoo Safari
Karen Shenoy
Wildlife Rehab. MN.
Anthony Brown
San Francisco Zoo
Dick Green
Int. Fn. Anim'll Welf're
Lynn McDuffie
Disney Anim'l K'gd'm
Denise Sofranko
USDA
Gail Buhl
The Raptor Center
Phil Gruzalski
USDA ESF 11
Joe Montisano
Central Florida Zoo
Evan Sorley
Lincoln Park Zoo
Heather Case
AVMA
Marisa Hickey
Lincoln Park Zoo
Yvonne Nadler
Lincoln Park Zoo
Aubrey Tauer
Lincoln Park Zoo
Gordon Cleveland
USDA
Allan Hogue
USDA
Ann Olson
Roosevelt Park Zoo
Steve Thompson
Lincoln Park Zoo
Pam Dennis
Cleveland Zoo
David Jarvis
St. Louis Zoo
Steve Olson
AZA
Edward Wilkerson
Lincoln Park Zoo
Kevin Dennison
USDA
Amy Jarisa-Smith
USDA
Kristy Pabilonia
Colorado State U
Michelle Willette
The Raptor Center
Cindy DiGeswaldo
USDA
Ken Kirstein
USDA
Rene Poirrier NASAAEEP
Richard Winters
Texas Animal Health
Cheryl Eia
Iowa State University
Anne Knapp
Zoo New England
Bryan Quick
Lincoln Park Zoo
Kurt Zitzner
Lincoln Park Zoo
Curtis Eng
LA Zoo & Botanical
Barb Kohn USDA Leslie Reed Wildlife Rehab. MN.    

 

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