This month we returned to Vietnam to continue our collaboration with the Vietnam Zoos Association (VZA) and the work we are doing to set national standards in Vietnam.
Following a workshop in December 2014, co-hosted by Wild Welfare, Animals Asia and Change for Animals Foundation, both the VZA and a Vietnam government national working group were set up to discuss animal welfare concepts for captive wild animals. Since then, we have been working with the VZA and its members, providing individual institutional support as well as association workshops and training in partnership with Animals Asia Foundation. This month we met up with our colleague Mr Tung, Vice Chairman of the VZA to visit some of the members, taking the opportunity to understand the main animal management practices, problems and opportunities for future membership criteria.
We considered all aspects of zoo management practices, including enclosure design and infrastructure, public feeding opportunities, animal shows, off show exhibits, holding quarters, feeding and nutritional care, hand-raising provisions, veterinary support and keeper knowledge regarding husbandry and management. Government owned zoos and private facilities can have very different approaches and demands placed upon them, and we worked with both, to help identify a constructive approach to raising standards within the Vietnam zoo community that works for any facility regardless of ownership.
We also took the opportunity to join with Animals Asia, and meet with the Ministry of Agriculture to continue discussions in regard to developing zoo national standards. The meeting was constructive and we now have a clear idea of what is ahead of us to push the standard forward.
A big thank you to Mr Tung for helping co-ordinate our visit and our friends at Animals Asia who are doing fantastic work on the ground with some of the zoos in Vietnam.