USZA Commercial Facility Accreditation Standards (Continued)

Public Contact

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Unconfined captive wildlife shall be maintained under rigid supervision and control, so as to prevent injuries to members of the public. No captive wildlife shall be tethered outdoors unsupervised. To provide for public safety, all wildlife shall be controlled in such a manner as to prevent physical contact with the public, except as follows:

Public Contact Exhibition

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  1. General: All wildlife that will be used for contact with the public shall have been evaluated by the exhibitor to insure compatibility with the uses intended. All wildlife shall be exhibited in a manner that prevents injuries to the public and the wildlife. The exhibitor shall take reasonable sanitary precautions to minimize the possibility of disease or parasite transmission which could adversely affect the health or welfare of citizens or wildlife.
  2. Class I wildlife shall only be permitted to come into physical contact with the public in accordance with the following:
    1. Full contact: For the purpose of this section, full contact is defined as situations in which an exhibitor or employee handler maintains proximate control and supervision, while temporarily surrendering physical possession or custody of the animal to another. Full contact with Class I wildlife is authorized only as follows:
      • Class I cats (Felidae only) that weigh not more than twenty-five (25) pounds;
      • Chimpanzees, orangutans, and gorillas that are not less than six (6) months of age and weigh not more than twenty-five pounds;
      • Gibbons and Siamangs not less than four (4) months of age and not more than two (2) years of age:
      • Elephants as approved.
    2. Incidental contact: For the purpose of this section, incidental contact is defined as situations in which an exhibitor or employee handler maintains control, possession and supervision of the animal while permitting the public to come into contact with it. Incidental contact with Class I wildlife is authorized only as follows:
      • Class I carnivores that weigh not more than 40 pounds; (under the age of 12 wks)
      • Chimpanzees, orangutans, and gorillas that are not less than six (6) months of age and weigh not more than 40 pounds;
      • Gibbons and Siamangs that are not less than four (4) months of age: no maximum poundage or age limit.
      • Elephants
  3. Public contact or handling intervals for Class I wildlife shall be limited as to frequency, intensity, and duration so that such handling will not adversely effect the health, welfare, or safety of the animals, nor expose the public to injury.
  4. Any condition which results in wildlife escaping from its enclosure, cage, leash, or other constraint, or which results in injury to any person, shall not be allowed.

Sanitation and Nutritional Requirements

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  1. Sanitation, water disposal, and waste disposal shall be in accordance with all applicable local, state, and federal regulations.
  2. Water: Clean drinking water shall be provided as often in a day accordance with the type of animal, and weather conditions to make sure that animal’s health and well-being is at no risk. Any water containers used shall be clean. Reptiles and amphibians that do not drink water from containers and those in an inactive season or period shall be provided water in a manner and at such intervals as to ensure their health and welfare. All pools, tanks, water areas and water containers provided for swimming, wading or drinking shall be clean, free of excess hair, dirt, mold and hot water. Enclosures shall provide drainage for surface water and runoff.
  3. Food: Food shall be of a type and quantity that meets the nutritional requirements for the particular species, and shall be provided in an unspoiled and uncontaminated condition. Clean containers shall be used for feeding.
  4. Waste: Fecal and food waste shall be removed from inside, under, and around cages and stored or disposed of in a manner which prevents noxious odors or pests. Cages and enclosures shall be ventilated to prevent noxious odors.
  5. Cleaning and maintenance: Hard floors within cages or enclosures shall be sanitized a minimum of once weekly. Walls of cages and enclosures shall be spot cleaned daily. The surfaces of housing facilities, including perches, shelves and any furniture-type fixtures within the facility, shall be sanitized weekly, and shall be constructed in a manner and made of materials that permits thorough cleaning. Any surface of cages or enclosures that may come into contact with animal(s) shall be free of excessive rust that prevents the required cleaning or that affects the structural strength.
  6. Food preparation areas shall be a closed area that allows minimum risk of flies and vermin to get into or around food and food storage areas and shall not be in the same building where any animals are kept.  Food should be stored off the floor and in a cool dry place to prevent spoilage. All perishable foods need to be kept in cold storage. No rotten fruit or veggies should be fed to any animal.
  7. High grass and weeds are to be kept to a minimum.
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