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Rural zoos draw fire from animal groups

<p>Animal rights groups are outraged over alleged conditions at two rural Alberta zoos and are calling on the provincial government to shut them down.</p>







"They (the animal groups) have their own agenda and it has nothing to do with the animals."


Lynn Gustafson, owner of Guzoo





Animal rights groups are outraged over alleged conditions at two rural Alberta zoos and are calling on the provincial government to shut them down.





Zoocheck Canada and The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) said yesterday two roadside zoos in Alberta have failed to meet regulations the province has also failed to enforce.





Guzoo Animal Farm in Three Hills and Discovery Wildlife Park in Innisfail have combined for more than 150 regulation violations since the new rules went into effect last March, according to Zoocheck Canada’s Julie Woodyer.





“While the Alberta government made important changes to zoo regulations well over a year ago, very little has changed in the province’s two roadside zoos,” Woodyer said.





Guzoo houses more than 100 animals, including bears, tigers, lions and monkeys. Zoocheck says the cages are often too small for the animals and they are seen acting “lethargic.”





However, Lynn Gustafson, owner of Guzoo, said animal activists are against all animals in captivity so they are targeting him specifically.





“It’s quite simple. The government issued us our permit and the government can take it away if we are not following the rules, not some terrorist animal group. And they haven’t,” he said, adding he’s upset over the groups’ allegations.





“They have their own agenda and it has nothing to do with the animals.”


 
 
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