Registered Charity in England & Wales No.1165941

Education and Engagement at International Conference


Education and Engagement at International Conference

Wild Welfare is passionate about education and the role it has to play in animal welfare. Frustratingly, there are many barriers to learning about animal welfare which the charity is determined to break down, and that was the topic explored by team member Sarah Bonser-Blake at a recent conference.

Last October, The Asia for Animals (AfA) Coalition, alongside the Sarawak Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) hosted a four-day event at the Borneo Convention Centre in Kuching, Malaysia. The theme was centred around the changes which education and engagement can bring to animals and the people who care for them. Naturally this was a significant opportunity for Wild Welfare to shout about their ‘Wild About Welfare’ digital education programme.

Sarah was one of 82 speakers, and her talk discussed the importance of advancing accessible learning opportunities in animal care fundamentals. The 20-minute presentation highlighted how captive animals rely on the knowledge, skills and confidence of their caregivers to provide good welfare opportunities. Sarah also emphasized how the programme aims to bridge the gap between animal welfare as a scientific subject and the application of that knowledge to daily management routines for animals under human care.

The event was a fantastic opportunity to introduce new audiences to the programme, particularly across the Asian rescue and rehabilitation networks. From orangutan rescue organisations to bear sanctuaries, there were many people keen to find out how the free to access programme could help empower their animal care staff members.

The conference was attended by 245 people representing a total of 23 different countries from across Asia and beyond, including many of our project countries such as Vietnam and Indonesia. Additional presentations included discussions on animal sentience, the role social media has to play in tackling animal cruelty, and the facts and figures surrounding wildlife trade.

It was fascinating to gain an insight into the way in which animal protection organisations across the world push forward their programmes and actions. To have so many of them in one room was truly inspiring. Essentially, we all want the same thing – a better world for the animals we share the planet with, but we go about it in different ways. It was an honour to share some of the work of Wild Welfare with a group of people working towards a similar vision.” Sarah Bonser-Blake, Animal Welfare Field Manager, Wild Welfare.

During the conference, there was also a meeting of the AfA Macaque Coalition which Wild Welfare is a member of. It was the first instance of the group meeting in-person and a chance to discuss current issues relating to macaques specifically. Sarah was delighted to share updates on Siti the macaque whom Wild Welfare successfully relocated the previous year.

Macaque coalition meeting

Education and empowerment will continue to be one of the foundational pillars which Wild Welfare bases its global action on, in the pursuit of a world which is kinder to its animals and full of people who are passionate and knowledgeable about animal welfare.


Notes to Editors

For more information or interview requests please contact Wild Welfare on

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 a world where every captive wild animal is able to thrive and live a good life. Find out more at Registered charity in England (no.1165941).