Good news for our friends in Canada—Hasting’s County is developing an exotic animal bylaw. The bylaw is in response to Mark and Tammy Drysdale who own a roadside zoo formerly called Roaring Cat Retreat, now going by Highlands Big Cat Adventures.
In 2020, town officials worked to shut down the Drysdale’s roadside zoo and ordered them to find new homes for the animals. The accredited Wildcat Sanctuary, located in the United States, offered transportation and permanent sanctuary for the animals.
Instead, the Drysdale’s moved their roadside zoo to Hasting’s County and started up again. With little in the way of regulations, officials in Canada have worked to develop an exotic animal bylaw to regulate the roadside zoo.
Julie Woodyer, campaign’s director for Zoocheck, told Bancroft This Week, “This council has been aware of the safety risks for nearly six months and we know of at least one person who has already been injured at the facility, yet the council continues to move at a snail’s pace.”
Bancroft This Week reported Hasting’s County council has directed staff to create a draft of an exotic animal bylaw and to present it at an upcoming meeting. Although the bylaw may not shut down the Drysdale’s roadside zoo, Woodyer said the law would require the exotic animals to be kept in facilities that maintain professional standards.
“No one is saying the animals have to go, we are only saying if they are to be kept in the municipality they must be properly contained and cared for,” Drysdale told Bancroft This Week. “This is about protecting the public and animals.”
Public Facebook photos of Mark and Tammy Drysdale and their animals