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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Guzoo Animal Farm is a roadside zoo in Three Hills, Alberta. A "Roadside Zoo" is defined as such:

"The roadside zoo is a grossly substandard, usually amateur facility that lacks trained, experienced animal care staff, proper funding and safety practices. Animals are confined to small, barren, often filthy cages, with next to nothing to do day in and day out. Animals in roadside zoos suffer poor welfare as a result of inadequate housing, care and diet. Deprived of opportunities to exercise their natural behaviors, most animals experience some degree of frustration and boredom. In the most severe cases, these animals become psychologically disturbed and may manifest abnormal behaviours."

They have been under pressure to improve for over two decades yet very little has changed and government agencies continue to deny responsibility and refuse to enforce zoo regulations. Animals are suffering and dying despite glaring violations under both the Alberta Animal Protection Act and the Alberta Zoo Regulations.

According to the Alberta Zoo Regulations, Peace Officers with the ASPCA have the power to investigate and enforce standards under the APA and have the power to write up a report based on their investigation listing recommended changes for Alberta Sustainable Resources and Fish and Wildlife to act upon.

The ASPCA has denied multiple times over the phone that they can't do anything about the care of the animals trapped at Guzoo, but this is not true. They have the ability to jump start a full investigation by the government but continue to pass the buck and shirk their responsibilities to these animals.

This is not to say that SRD and Fish and Wildlife are not at fault; they have taken no initiative to improve upon Alberta's roadside zoos since they implemented the new regulations in 2006. They rarely respond to emails from the public and have yet to act upon any of our complaints. SRD continues to renew their zoo license every April 1st despite public complaint. Fish and Wildlife is particularly buddy-buddy with Lynn Gustafson, often referring to him on a first name basis during called in complaints. They have good reason... Gustafson makes their job a little easier by picking up roadkill that Fish and Wildlife has told him about, to feed to the carnivores. They also give the zoo orphaned and injured wildlife that cannot be released, a quick and easy way to get them off of their hands.

The animals at this zoo are isolated, ignored and kept in deplorable conditions with little food and water. The owner of the zoo also breeds, sells, and auctions off many of their animals, despite claiming to be an "animal sanctuary". Many of the animals have serious injuries and illnesses, and there are carcasses scattered along the ground, where they're left to be eaten by other (starving) animals.

Guzoo was meant to renew its licensing contact on April 1st, when Nic Burgess, a photographer from Alberta, visited the zoo and posted the pictures online. While the Alberta government has paid little attention to the zoo over the past 10-20 years, the photos resulted in a viral social media campaign, and an investigation has finally been launched. However, the Alberta goverment has given Guzoo a 60-day temporary permit, and some Albertans are still in support of the zoo, claiming that Guzoo provides an essential service to the community, and that the animals are only in these conditions because the zoo hasn't received enough donations or volunteers. Should the permit be revoked, the owner of the zoo has threatened to put down all of the exotic animals, as he claims relocating them would be too stressful. If the animals are killed, he insists that "It's not [him] that's doing it. It's the animal activists that are doing it ... as a result of their actions."

Photos from the zoo can be seen here (WARNING: Graphic images)

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