When you come on one of our tours, you will hear that TCWR is GFAS accredited. Having a GFAS accreditation is very important for our mission at TCWR.
What is GFAS?
Established in 2007, GFAS stands for the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries. A group of people wanted to recognize and support true sanctuaries. The term sanctuary is not regulated by any governing body. So a place can call itself a sanctuary without providing the appropriate level of care to their animals. GFAS has the goal to establish a set of guidelines that provide animals with the highest level of care and protection.
In order to be GFAS accredited or verified, a facility must be non-profit. They follow several policies. For example, they can’t participate in captive breeding programs or commercial animal trades. If offered, all tours are guided so the impact on animals or their environment is minimal. The sanctuary can’t take their animals off property for non-medical purposes. The animals can’t be on exhibit or display. No visitors can have direct contact with the animals. In addition, they must reach GFAS standards of care and safety and have high standards of ethics regarding fundraising and the acquisition of animals.
TCWR and GFAS
TCWR became GFAS accredited in the fall of 2016. Our accreditation is reviewed and renewed every three years. GFAS facilities, like us, don’t breed, cub pet, or touch animals. In addition, we don’t breed, buy, sell, or trade any of our animals. Finally, we support the GFAS mission through our education department, teaching the public about the mistreatment of animals and the reality of the exotic animal trade in America.
True sanctuaries, new and old, have participated in breeding, cub petting, and contact with animals. However, the important part is that the facility learns to take care of their animals better and prioritize their health, safety, and happiness over that of giving people an experience. Not every good sanctuary is accredited. But many facilities are recognizing that it’s a valuable label to have. GFAS has accredited over 150 sanctuaries, rescues, and rehabilitation centers around the world. So it never hurts to contact a facility about their accreditation. Find out if they’re working towards it, and if they are, consider supporting them.