The Jane Goodall Act

Reintroducing the Jane Goodall Act to Protect More Animals in Captivity 

| March 25, 2022

“It is a monumental step forward for animals, people, and the environment. I am honoured to lend my name to this world-leading legislation that is supported by a wonderful coalition of government, conservationists, animal welfare groups and accredited zoos.” – Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, world-renowned conservationist, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace 

On Tuesday, March 22nd, Senator Marty Klyne reintroduced Bill S-241, “The Jane Goodall Act” 

The Jane Goodall Act was first introduced in 2020 to better the welfare of the 33 great apes, 9 chimpanzees, over 20 elephants, 18 gorillas and 6 orangutans, living in Canadian captivity.  

The updated bill builds on this while also providing new legal protections for captive great apes, big cats, bears, wolves, seals, sea lions, walruses, certain monkeys, and dangerous reptiles, such as crocodiles and giant pythons at roadside zoos.   

The bill represents a unique coalition of government, animal welfare groups, and accredited zoos, including the Toronto Zoo, the Calgary Zoo, the Granby Zoo, the Assiniboine Park Zoo, and the Montreal Biodome.  

In summary, the new Jane Goodall Act:

     – states that science, empathy, and justice require everyone to respect the biological and ecological characteristics and needs of animals; 

     – bans the use of all designated animals in performance;  

     – bans new captivity of great apes, elephants, big cats, bears, wolves, seals, sea lions, walruses, certain monkeys, and dangerous reptiles unless licensed for their best interests; 

     – affords captive animals limited standing under the law and creates a permitting system for animal care organizations.  

The Bill’s impact on wildlife in Canada

There are over 20 elephants, and 33 great apes in captivity. Canada also has up to 4,000 privately owned big cats, with reports of poor conditions, safety concerns, and lack of oversight, according to Humane Canada. If passed, the Jane Goodall Act would protect animals in 100–150 wildlife attractions in Canada. 

This bill is a reminder that real change is possible, and we can have an even bigger impact when we work together.  

Together we can and will provide a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves and put an end to the misery that is wildlife trafficking.”  – Dr. Jane Goodall 

Photograph by Craig Barrit/ Getty Images for Time