Wild Welfare are just back from Japan, where we provided a diverse range of animal welfare workshops to Japanese zoo staff, animal welfare NGOs and veterinary students. As the number of zoos in Japan increases, it’s more important than ever that appropriate protection and care is provided to the captive wild animals within these facilities.
There is currently limited legislative standards or protection provided for these animals in the country, and as a result it is important that the captive collections themselves lead by example and provide the highest standards of care.
Georgina Allen, Wild Welfare’s director, presented to a number of different organisations and key stakeholders in Japanese animal welfare as well as visiting Ueno Zoo in Tokyo. Georgina talked to a number of zoo personnel about specific captive animal welfare practices and the importance of welfare assessments within zoos. She also had the opportunity to meet Mr Haruyoshi Kawai, director of LightAnimal, a fantastic innovative digital experience that allows animals that can’t be seen in captivity to come alive! This innovative digital experience has the potential to offer encounters that would otherwise not be possible, and encourages a reduction in the use of real animals for whom captivity cannot provide a suitable environment or appropriate care.
There was also an opportunity for Wild Welfare to hold a workshop with the Japan Animal Welfare Coalition, a group of NGOs who focus on improving animal welfare through revised legislation, education and raising awareness. Georgina said: “It was a fantastic opportunity to meet with my Japanese colleagues who are committed to improving animal welfare and to help increase their capacity to work on captive welfare issues.”
Finally, there was the chance to work with veterinary students at Nippon Veterinary Life Sciences, through Wild Welfare’s continued partnership with the International Veterinary Student’s Association(IVSA). Georgina gave a presentation on animal welfare in zoos and took part in workshops focusing on specific captive welfare issues.
A special thank you to Keiko Yamasaki and Kaori Sacamoto for arranging the workshops, to the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums for arranging our visit to Ueno and to the IVSA for their continued collaboration. Finally, thank you to JAWS UK for sponsoring this trip to Japan.