We’ve been back in Brazil for our ongoing welfare certification programme with the Brazilian Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZAB) – formerly SZB. Throughout the world, a tried and tested methodology for raising professional standards is the quantification of industrial standards and following this, the assessment against these standards. Wild Welfare has developed a detailed animal welfare standard and assessment process, and is supporting a number of individual zoos and zoo associations around the world to meet these high standards of animal care and welfare.
AZAB have been incredibly active in the development and application of a certification programme, and in the past few years we have been training their auditors to carry out collection welfare assessments. Being able to effectively understand and monitor the care and welfare of animals in a zoo is critical for keepers, curators and vets alike, and we carried out two days of welfare auditor training workshops for AZAB members. While in Brazil we also gave presentations on animal welfare and the AZAB welfare certification programme at the association’s congress (the 42nd Congress of the Sociedade de Zoológicos e Aquários do Brasil).
Finally, we carried out assessments in six Brazilian zoos in collaboration with the AZAB. The team included Wild Welfare’s field director, Dave Morgan, Cláudio H. Maas – Biólogo at Zoo Pomerode and AZAB President, Henrique Almeida – Aquarist at Aquarios Ubatuba, Cynthia Cipreste – animal trainer at Zoo Belo Horizonte and Claudia Igayara – Zoo Guarulhos’ veterinarian. Two of the facilities, Aquario Sabina and Sao Paulo Aquariums were passed for certification with very minor corrective actions. Sao Paulo aquarium in particular had a fantastic environmental enrichment programme. Other facilities will require infrastructural changes and corrective actions before they receive certification and will be monitored by the AZAB team.
Image © Wild Welfare: AZAB animal welfare auditors receiving their official auditor certificates from Wild Welfare last week in Brazil, Wild Welfare’s field director Dave Morgan making friends while carrying out a welfare audit at São Paulo Aquarium