Originally posted by Jeff Hathaway
Don't forget, though, that 'zoo permits' only apply to native wildlife. If you want to have a zoo that only features exotics, you don't need any permits, but watch out for the local by-laws.
That may be true for where you live, but in Saskatchewan (and Alberta) where certain reptiles are restricted, a permit is required to keep those particular reptiles.
For example... In Saskatchewan snakes of the family boidae are restricted. We had gotten temporary shelter permits to keep a few in 2001, but when the head of the department (SERM in Saskatchewan) returned from vacation, he informed everyone that a full blown zoo permit was required for us to keep these snakes.
We were told several times that zoo permits were impossible to get. At that time, there were only 3 zoos in Saskatchewan, as the province had just pulled a lot of zoo permits from some petting zoos and road side attractions.
Before we could apply for a zoo permit, we needed a suitable facility that was commercially zoned in our town, as well as permission from the town to open a zoo.
We were granted a zoo permit. These are annual, and we have inspections each year before we are given our permit for the next year. There are now 4 zoos in Saskatchewan, the original 3, and Scales Zoo.
Any time we travel to Alberta or another province with restricted animals, we need to obtain temporary shelter permits for the province which we are entering.
We also have $5 million liability insurance, which is not cheap, and was as difficult to obtain as the zoo license.
Our permits let us keep any animal, except; lions, tigers, bears, cougers and wolves.
Zoo permits are a provincial thing, for the provinces in which they apply. The CAZA accreditation that was mentioned is something that is optional for zoos in Canada to have.
Scales Zoo is not funded in any way by anyone (other than Sheila and myself) or government, and we plan to keep it that way.