Saint John’s Cherry Brook Zoo has been cleared of wrongdoing in the deaths of a number of guinea pigs after a probe by one of the country’s leading animal welfare standards development organization.
On Friday, Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA) said that their investigation, conducted by their ethics and compliance committee, has found that there is no evidence to support accusations that the method of euthanasia was inhumane.
CAZA found that there was also no evidence to “support accusations regarding the supposed motivation for the euthanasia and the reported method of euthanasia in social media.”
The investigation was sparked after complaints that a “number” of guinea pigs had died at the zoo in 2018.
The New Brunswick SPCA conducted their own investigation and ultimately recommended that charges be laid for inhumane euthanasia and causing unnecessary pain and suffering.
But in April the province’s Crown prosecutors declined to lay charges after reviewing the case.
CAZA says that they hope that their review of evidence by zoology and animal welfare experts puts Saint John residents at ease.
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“We understand the concern and the distress that the events have caused the Saint John community and the volunteers and staff at the zoo,” said Susan Shafer, CAZA’s executive doctor.
“We thank the many former staff, current staff, and consultants who took the time to speak to us, provide documentation, and answer our many questions.”
CAZA says that they’ve provided recommendations to the Cherry Brook Zoo “to help improve their euthanasia and nutrition programs as well as the communication and documentation of policies, procedures, and practices.”