Many practices in facilities that keep captive wild animals are indefensible and yet they still continue: absence of veterinary care, unsuitable enclosures, inappropriate animal contact and performances, unregulated acquisitions, and uncontrolled breeding are just some of the circumstances that result in poor animal welfare. Such poor welfare conditions – be they in a zoo, rescue centre, sanctuary, tourist facility or private holding – are often associated with socio-economic problems that feed into other troubling issues such as the illegal wildlife trade. Working with these collections often acts as a platform for national and regional change not only in animal welfare, but broader- based issues as well.
We will provide support that encourages long term solutions to better animal welfare, through training, legislation change and enforcement and the development of national welfare regulations and institutional practices. From providing basic welfare and husbandry training to keepers to working with national legislators, we aim to get to the core of the issue. Improvements in enrichment and husbandry practices, policies, legislation and procedures that improve welfare, improved veterinary care and management, practical approaches to specific species management and species-specific care all contribute to long term changes for animal welfare.
We believe in supporting those institutions and individuals within the zoo and welfare fields that also continue to seek better practices through educated changes, and discourage approaches and programmes that deliver acrimonious attitudes, as historically have seen these fail to deliver better welfare for the animals concerned.
Cultural differences are what makes our global society so fantastically diverse with a rich and varied tapestry. However we must ensure that “culture” is not misused to argue for the wrong things. While perceptions of animal welfare are culturally sensitive, globally variable and subject to change through time, an animal’s perception of it’s own welfare is independent of these differing circumstances. We always use up to date animal welfare knowledge and research to demonstrate the best approaches to improving animal welfare that is independent of culture, individual perceptions and historically perceived approaches.
Our work is focused on making change happen. While active lobbying and campaigning can be very effective for some projects, we ourselves are not a lobbying organisation and instead work collaboratively with those very key stakeholders that have the power to make that change in country. Whether that’s policy makers, government authorities, zoo directors, zoo keepers or other NGO’s, we try and build a positive relationship so that we can get to the heart of the problem and provide the expert support required.
We are a small charity, and sadly do not have the resources to provide direct rescues. However we can and do support other charities, sanctuaries and zoos that can react to these emergency rescues, through facilitating partnerships, providing small restricted grants and directing appropriate expertise to the issue.
While an injection of funds can provide improvements in the short term, it does not instill a cultural change within an institution and likely results in poor animal welfare in the long term. We work with institutions and partners to tackle the root of the problem so that long term solutions are sought.
Our approach to captive wild animal welfare is compassionate, empathetic, science based and professional
We see the distinction between the provision of adequate care and the promotion of positive welfare states in captive wild animals.
We have no political agenda with any particular body or region.
We support constructive and positive partnerships
We perceive ourselves as facilitators
We believe we have a moral responsibility towards wild animals that find themselves in human care.
We want to effect sustainable long-term change
We are non-confrontational and objective
We understand the necessity of compromise, but always looking to continuous improvement