Nova’s Ark Withdraws Request for Exotic Animal By-law Exemption in Whitby, Ontario

Nova's Ark, a charity offering animal-assisted therapy in Whitby, Ontario, has withdrawn its exemption request from the Town’s Prohibited and Regulated Animals By-Law, seeking approval to house various prohibited wild and exotic animals. The non-profit, in operation since 2005, faced a 2021 complaint about the possession of restricted animals. After a campaign by animal protection groups, including Zoocheck and World Animal Protection, Town of Whitby staff recommended against the exemption, citing safety concerns. Nova's Ark withdrew its request and The Town of Whitby accepted the withdrawal, tasking staff with ensuring compliance. Nearly a hundred unlawfully kept wild and exotic animals are now slated for relocation, and Animal Justice is advocating for their placement in sanctuaries rather than other zoos for entertainment.