Click here for more COVID-19 resources for zoos and aquariums


Secure Zoo Strategy

dangerous animal response team

Secure Zoo Strategy (SZS) is guidance to help facilities develop business continuity plans to protect staff, animals and business models in the event of high consequence disease outbreak, and mitigate the effects should a disease occur. As a member of the Exotic Animal Industry (EAI), there is no “one plan fits all facilities” due to the diversity of business models. This planning process is intended to help you meet your facility’s needs and the regulatory requirements imposed by officials during a disease outbreak.

Secure Zoo Strategy planning helps to prepare for the possibility of a high consequence disease outbreak which could threaten:

  • Preservation of your collection
  • Public visitation
  • Movement of animals or products within or between states for any reason

Steps to the SZS Plan!

Click here to download a PDF of the full Secure Zoo Strategy Document

Step 1: Building Response Partnerships

Building a successful partnership with your State Animal Health Official (SAHO) is a crucial part of developing a response plan for your facility, as they will have authority over all facilities with susceptible animals during a Foreign Animal Disease (FAD) outbreak. This step will introduce background information about what the time frame of response to such an outbreak might look like, including restrictions that could impact your facility, This step also provides guidance on building a successful partnership with your SAHO. Upon completion of this step, you will have a better understanding of how an outbreak can affect you and why response partnerships are so important. The Facility Information Worksheet included at the end of the step can be used as a guide for what information you should provide to your SAHO.

Click here to begin Step 1


Secure Zoo Strategy Webinar Series (recordings)

Learn more about high consequence diseases for the Exotic Animal Industry