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Animal welfare programme set to roll out across Southeast Asian zoos

giraffe eating from a raised feeder in a zoo

Animal welfare programme set to roll out across Southeast Asian zoos

Care and welfare standards are set to improve for zoo animals across Southeast Asia, as plans are made to roll out a new welfare certification programme.

Wild Welfare has been helping the Southeast Asian Zoos and Aquariums Association (SEAZA) develop a welfare-based certification programme, which once in place will help to improve care and welfare for thousands of animals housed in SEAZA’s 50-strong zoo and aquarium membership.

Following the welfare certification programme’s approval by the SEAZA board, details of how the programme will be run and its planned roll out for 2019 were presented to SEAZA members at the association’s recent annual conference in Thailand.

Wild Welfare’s field director, Dave Morgan, said: “There was a definite buzz of excitement at SEAZA’s recent conference. The welfare programme is bringing new and existing zoo and aquarium members together from across the Southeast region, and everyone seems very enthusiastic about making animal welfare improvements.”

SEAZA’s welfare certification programme will introduce a welfare standard that all existing and potential zoo and aquarium members have to meet for SEAZA affiliation. Currently there is a huge variety in standards of animal welfare across SEAZA, so this programme offers the chance for positive welfare improvements and will help SEAZA monitor and enforce these improved standards.

Dave Morgan added: “SEAZA’s team have put in a huge amount of hard work to get to this point. It’s exciting to now be preparing to help roll this programme out and putting into action all that has been discussed and agreed upon in terms of a greater commitment to animal welfare.”

The proposed roll out will begin in Indonesia in early 2019. Wild Welfare will be delivering auditor training, so that across Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, Singapore, the Philippines and Malaysia, there are a number of trained auditors who can carry out the required welfare audits, assessing the zoos and aquariums against the new welfare standards.

SEAZA President, Dr Phan Viêt Lâm, said: “This welfare assessment certification programme demonstrates the commitment that SEAZA and its members are making towards prioritising animal welfare. Good animal welfare underpins our conservation and education programmes and it’s important we continue to raise our standards in Southeast Asia. This certification programme will support continued improvements in animal care and management.”

It is hoped that by the end of 2020, 20 SEAZA facilities across seven countries will have undergone a welfare audit and have received SEAZA membership under the new programme, or given feedback on how they can take the necessary steps in order to reach it, all the while ensuring higher standards of care and welfare for the animals cared for within SEAZA facilities.

Our thanks go to Wildlife Reserves Singapore1, whose funding is helping Wild Welfare support SEAZA with this project to establish and enact the animal welfare and husbandry standard across the Southeast Asian region.


Notes to Editors

  1.  Wildlife Reserves Singapore is dedicated to the management of world-leading zoological institutions – Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, River Safari and Singapore Zoo – that aim to inspire people to value and conserve biodiversity by providing meaningful and memorable wildlife experiences. A self-funded organisation, WRS focuses on protecting biodiversity in Singapore and Southeast Asia through collaborations with like-minded partners, organisations and institutions. Each year, the four attractions welcome 4.6 million visitors.

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Wild Welfare is a global organisation committed to improving animal welfare for captive wild animals. By uniting the world’s leading zoos, zoo associations and animal welfare organisations, we build trusting partnerships that help provide long-term solutions to critical wild animal welfare issues.

Our vision is to end the suffering of captive wild animals around the world and ensure full and sustainable protection is given to all animals in human care. Find out more at Registered charity in England (no.1165941).