UW School of Veterinary Medicine will not renew Henry Vilas Zoo contract
According to Channel 3000, the UW School of Veterinary Medicine will end its contract relationship for vet care with the Henry Vilas Zoo at the end of June. The move follows animal welfare allegations made by a former employee who left the zoo in February.
The allegations — disputed by both the Henry Vilas Zoo and the UW School of Veterinary Medicine — centered on the inconsistency of the relationship between the vet school and zoo, claiming that the arrangement left animals with unreliable care and allowed health issues to go overlooked.
The five-year contract between UW and the zoo was initiated after the retirement of the zoo’s last full-time vet in 2019. Five UW vets currently provide veterinary care of the zoo, with one providing around 80% of the care and others rotating in as needed. A vet is also on call 24 hours a day in case of emergencies.
The school maintains its decision not to renew the contract reflects an increased demand on its veterinarians that would no longer allow it to commit to serving the zoo.