To Members of the Standing Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources: 

I am writing to express my support for the Jane Goodall Act (Bill S-241) that is currently under consideration by the Canadian Senate Committees and reaffirm my endorsement of this important bill. 

When Senator Murray Sinclair first approached me to lend my name to this bill, I agreed because I share his vision of the interconnectedness of all species on our planet. I am pleased to see Senator Marty Klyne continuing to push for this important legislation that will safeguard the welfare of animals, particularly great apes, elephants, and all the other species this bill aims to protect. I believe the Jane Goodall Act is a significant step in the right direction. 

I applaud the efforts of this latest draft of the bill, which brings together stakeholders who are dedicated to protecting and sustaining wildlife. Engaging with animal welfare experts, AZA zoos and other animal care organizations as key actors is crucial to achieving the highest standards by applying best practices for the well-being of animals in captivity. 

Harmful practices such as the exotic pet trade and illegal wildlife trafficking pose a great threat to many endangered species, and we must do everything in our power to protect them. Illegal wildlife trade also exacerbates the spread of zoonotic diseases and pandemics with grave consequences for both human and animal health. I call on Canada to be a global leader in combating this illicit trade. 

I have always emphasized the vital role that reputable zoos play in conservation efforts. By ensuring the highest standards for animal welfare are being met through this bill, meaningful positive steps can be taken to improve below-par zoos that currently do not provide a healthy and enriching environment for animals and completely shut down the dreadful roadside zoos. 

The challenges we face with wildlife conservation require collaboration and an understanding of different perspectives. We need the leadership of Canada’s AZA-accredited zoos, animal welfare organizations, veterinarians, scientists, and policy makers to come together, to listen to one another, and find sustainable solutions that ensure the best outcomes for the wildlife we all strive to protect. 

I believe the Jane Goodall Act represents a critical step towards a more compassionate and responsible approach to animal welfare and conservation. I hope the committee will continue to engage all stakeholders to find a path forward to pass this bill. 

Sincerely, 

Jane Goodall, PhD, DBE 
Founder – the Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace 

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