Context: The Ministry of Environment has reconstituted the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) to include an expert from the School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi, and a molecular biologist. 

More on the news:

  • New people included in the authority are 
    • The Director, School of Planning and Architecture, and 
    • Senior Principal Scientist, CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB).

Recent guidelines issued by CZA related to pandemic:

  • From June 1, the CZA has allowed zoos to take a call on opening them to visitors.
  • In May, concerns were raised whether animals, particularly big cats, could be a source of transmission of COVID-19 after reports emerged of a tiger in New York’s Bronx Zoo testing positive. 
    • Following that, the CZA issued an advisory for enhanced surveillance.

About Central Zoo Authority (CZA)

  • It is a statutory body chaired by the Union Environment Minister.
  • Functions:
    • It is tasked with regulating zoos across the country.
    • The authority lays down guidelines and prescribes rules under which animals may be transferred among zoos nationally and internationally.
  • Composition:
    • Apart from the chairman, it consists of 10 members and a member-secretary.
    • Almost all of them are officials in the Environment Ministry and non-government experts are those who are wildlife conservationists or retired forest officers.