ANIMAL ESCAPE ARTISTS by ProQuest

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It is important to keep zoo casualties in perspective. Nonetheless, recent animal attacks have brought the regulations and standards that govern the US' zoos into sharper focus. The US Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is the branch of the federal government tasked with regulating zoos and other animal exhibitions under the guidelines of the Animal Welfare Act. The act is ill-prepared to prevent future incidents, however, as it was written to ensure the humane treatment of animals and provides virtually no guidelines on how they should be safely displayed. The combination of voluntary industry standards, ineffective federal oversight and insufficient animal exhibition laws ultimately dampens the progress zoos have made safeguarding visitors from animal attacks. Since many animal escapes occur due to negligence, zoos can benefit from added training and protection for their employees. The fact remains that no matter how many safety measures zoos take, accidents are bound to happen.

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