USZA Commercial Facility Accreditation Standards

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General Regulations
Required Records & Paperwork
Facility Requirements
General Regulations
Caging Requirements
Public Contact
Public Contact & Exhibition
Sanitation & Nutrition
Structural Caging (Class I, II & III)
Additional Requirements by Species
Standard Caging Requirements
Specific Species Requirements
Amphibians
Badgers
Bats
Bears
Binturong
Birds
Species (Con't)
Camelids
Canids
Cervids
Civets
Coati-mundis
Crocodillians
Edentates
Elephants
Equids
Felines
Ferrets
Fishers
Genets
Giraffes
Goats
Hares
Hedgehogs
Hippopotamus
Kinkajous
Lizards
Species (Con't)
Marsupials
Martins
Minks
Mongoose
Okapi
Olingos
Otters
Pandas
Peccaries
Picas
Polecats
Primates
Rabbits
Raccoons
Rhinos
Ringtail
Rodents
Sheep
Skunks
Snakes
Species (Con't)
Solendons
Squirrels
Swine
Tapirs
Tenrecs
Tortoises
Tree Shrews
Turtles
Weasels
Wolverines
Exceptions & Transportation
Exceptions for Standard Caging
Elephant Rides
Transportation Requirements
Performing Animals
Non-Performing Animals
 

The following guidelines are the minimum standards for USZA animal care and housing accreditation for a commercial facility open to the public. Specific alternatives may be allowed by the USZA accreditation committee on a case by case basis. Application fee is $300.00 and the applicant must pay all costs for the accreditation process including one inspector, representing USZA, to perform a 2-3 day hands on inspection at the facility.

USZA Required Information and/or Records Available For The Inspector

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  • A written inventory of all animals on premises listed by classification
  • A letter from your state, county or city governing agency that shows you are in good standing
  • A copy of your last 3 years of USDA inspection reports
  • Provide documentation of a licensed veterinarian of record and secondary licensed veterinarian on call for emergencies
  • A copy of your written safety protocols that are in place to assure the public and animal’s safety in case of severe weather, tornado, flood, escape, injury or medical need, and fire.  Please show proof that all employees and volunteers are trained to implement these safety protocols and provide a letter from your licensed veterinarian of record that shows he has reviewed your protocols and vouches that they are in use at your facility. 
  • USZA requires each employee or volunteer working directly in contact with a species of animal or that has direct access to the cage of a species of animal to have a minimum of 1000 hours of documented experience with that species of animal. There must be written records of all employee/volunteer training hours and the signature of the trainer(s) who vouches for those training hours and that the employee/volunteer is properly trained.
  • Provide copies of all animal diets, which are to be in a written form for each species and must show the daily rations and feeding times for each species.  All diets must be approved and signed by applicant’s licensed veterinarian of record.
  • Written protocols for cage inspection and maintenance including what is done during an inspection and how often an inspection is performed.

Facility Requirements

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  • The facility shall not be constructed on less than five (5) contiguous acres of property owned or leased by the applicant. If leased, the lease shall be for a term of not less than one year from the date of application and such lease is subject to initial and annual review and approval by USZA.
  • The facility shall have a caging no closer than 8 feet from the property line with an 8 feet high perimeter fence between the property line and the caging but with the outer perimeter fence 8 feet from the caging nearest the property line.
  • The cages of the facility shall be bounded (outer perimeter fence) by a fence of not less than eight (8) feet in height, constructed of not less than 11 1/2 gauge chain link, or equivalent, to prevent escape from the property of any wildlife that may escape the primary caging.
  • Public safety barriers must be at least four (4) feet high and a minimum of three (3) feet from all cages and must be constructed in a manor that will prevent any person or animal from crawling through the barrier.
  • Private owners requirments - The caging standards remain the same as any facility requirements except their is no lang requirement and the perimeter fence must be at least 6 foot high of either privacy wood fence and or chain link with the cage 3 foot from the perimeter fence. The purpose for this section is to protect the animal from the outside public.
    Big cats and bears must be with an 8 foot perimeter fence surrounding the cage which must sit 3 foot from the fence

General Regulations of Captive Wildlife

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For the purpose of this section, the following definitions apply:

  • Paddocks: Areas enclosed by fencing, railing or other USZA-approved structures which allow animals to graze or browse.
  • Reptile enclosures: Areas encompassed by smooth walls or other USZA-approved materials which provide safe keeping of venomous and non-venomous snakes, Crocodilians and other reptiles.
  • Open air habitats or moated areas: Areas enclosed by USZA approved fences, walls, or moats which provide safe containment of species.

No person shall maintain captive wildlife in any unsafe or unsanitary condition, or in a manner which results in threats to public safety, or the maltreatment or neglect of such wildlife.

Caging Requirements

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  • Cages or enclosures housing captive wildlife shall be sufficiently strong to prevent escape and to protect the caged animal from injury, and shall be equipped with structural safety barriers to prevent any physical contact with the caged animal by the public.
  • Structural barriers may be constructed from materials such as fencing, moats, landscaping, or close-mesh wire, provided that materials used are safe and effective in preventing public contact.
  • All cages or enclosures less than 600 square feet shall be covered at the top to prevent escape (except paddocks, reptile enclosures and habitats specified below). Class I or Class II wildlife shall not be kept in uncovered enclosures that are less than 600 square feet.
  • Caging considered unsafe or otherwise not in compliance herewith shall not be approved by USZA.
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