Resolution in Support of Maintaining Mammals in Captivity for Benefits to Society in Education and Scientific Research

WHEREAS, there is much public dissemination of misleading and harmful statements concerning captivity of marine and other mammals; and

WHEREAS, the societal benefits in public education and scientific research upon professionally maintained captive animals are very many; and

WHEREAS, there are unquestioned long-term benefits to the species and to conservation of mammals by increased education and knowledge; and

WHEREAS, the scientific community is supportive of the major legal and ethical principles of humaneness and animal welfare, and stands with many of the active political-societal organizations on these matters; and

WHEREAS, there is awareness and acceptance of the need for restriction of collecting activities in such circumstances as the killer whales of southern British Columbia and Puget Sound where both scientific and public sensibilities would be violated; and

WHEREAS, the report of the workshop "Animals on Display: Education and Scientific Impact," held on February 12 to 16 in Chicago, sponsored by American Association of Zoological Parks and and Aquariums and the John G. Shedd Aquarium, has provided a factual, objective, ethical, and professional review of these matters; and

WHEREAS, the basic principles involved pertain not only to marine mammals but to all animals that can be well-kept in captivity,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the American Society of Mammalogists supports the concept of humane and professional maintenance of mammals in captivity and appropriate research upon these animals; speaks against those who by promulgation of emotionally based, biased, or inaccurate statements would hinder or abolish captive animal situations and related research; and adds its name to the list of organizations supporting the report of the workshop "Animals on Display: Educational and Scientific Impact."