n India, functioning of zoos is regulated by an autonomous statutory body called Central Zoo Authority which has been constituted under the Wild Life (Protection) Act. The Authority consists of a Chairman, ten members and a Member Secretary.
The main objective of the authority is to complement the national effort in conservation of wild life. Standards and norms for housing, upkeep, health care and overall management of animals in zoos has been laid down under the Recognition of Zoo Rules, 1992.
Every zoo in the country is required to obtain recognition from the Authority for its operation. The Authority evaluates the zoos with reference to the parameters prescribed under the Rules and grants recognition accordingly. Zoos which have no potential to come up to the prescribed standards and norms may be refused recognition and asked to close down.
Since its inception in 1992, the Authority has evaluated 513 zoos, out of which 167 have been recognized and 346 refused recognition.
The Authority’s role is more of a facilitator than a regulator. It, therefore, provides technical and financial assistance to such zoos which have the potential to attain the desired standard in animal management. Only such captive facilities which have neither the managerial skills nor the requisite resources are asked to close down.
Apart from the primary function of grant of recognition and release of financial assistance, the Central Zoo Authority also regulates the exchange of animals of endangered category listed under Schedule-I and II of the Wildlife (Protection Act) among zoos.
Exchange of animals between Indian and foreign zoos is also approved by the Authority before the requisite clearances under EXIM Policy and the CITES permits are issued by the competent authority.
The Authority also coordinates and implements programmes on capacity building of zoo personnel, planned conservation breeding programmes and ex-situ research including biotechnological intervention for conservation of species for complementing in-situ conservation efforts in the country.
CENTRAL ZOO AUTHORITY
Statutory body under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change
(GOVERNMENT OF INDIA)