Last week we attended the SEAZA annual conference, being held in Manila, Philippines. It was an opportunity to meet up with many of the teams we have been working with throughout 2017 and discuss future steps. One of the main concern in regards to animal welfare for SEAZA, is the inconsistent standards that are found across the membership. SEAZA represents a wide range of zoos and aquariums, with Institutional Members coming from ASEAN countries as well as from neighbouring nations, including Taiwan and Hong Kong. SEAZA have now created their first ever welfare-based certification programme and the development and implementation of this programme is one of the focusses of an MoU agreement signed by Wild Welfare and SEAZA at the conference last week. This Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Wild Welfare’s Field Director, Dave Morgan and SEAZA’s Chairman, Dr Lam Phan and focuses on the joint communication and implementation of the programme to improve animal welfare across its membership.
Within the MoU, SEAZA and Wild Welfare agree to co-operate and to share information and knowledge relating to achieving positive animal welfare in South-East Asian zoos, and SEAZA will endeavour to support Wild Welfare projects to improve welfare in South-East Asian zoos through liaison and through communication. Simultaneously, Wild Welfare will endeavour to assist SEAZA in handling cases involving poor welfare and assist SEAZA in the provision of Animal Welfare training and assessment of animal welfare training.
We are delighted to have developed this partnership with SEAZA who recognise the importance of continuous improvements in animal welfare practices within its membership and across its representative regions, and look forward to working with them.