Last week we attended the Southeast Asian Zoos and Aquariums Association (SEAZA)’s annual conference, held in Manila in the Philippines.
It was an opportunity to meet up with many of the teams we have been working with throughout 2017 and discuss future steps. One of the main concerns in regards to animal welfare for SEAZA, is the inconsistent standards that are found across the membership.
SEAZA represents a wide range of zoos and aquariums, with institutional members coming from countries within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations ASEAN, as well as from neighbouring nations, including Taiwan and Hong Kong. SEAZA have now created their first ever welfare-based certification programme and the development and implementation of this programme is one of the focuses of an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreement signed by Wild Welfare and SEAZA at last week’s conference.
The MoU was signed by Wild Welfare’s field director, Dave Morgan, and SEAZA Chairman, Dr Phan Viêt Lâm, and focuses on the joint communication and implementation of the programme to improve animal welfare across the SEAZA membership.
Within the MoU, SEAZA and Wild Welfare agree to cooperate and share information and knowledge relating to achieving positive animal welfare in Southeast Asian zoos, and SEAZA will endeavour to support Wild Welfare projects to improve welfare in Southeast Asian zoos through liaison and through communication. Simultaneously, Wild Welfare will endeavour to assist SEAZA in handling cases involving poor welfare and assist SEAZA in the provision of animal welfare training and assessment of animal welfare training.
We are delighted to have developed this partnership with SEAZA, who recognise the importance of continuous improvements in animal welfare practices within its membership and across its representative regions, and we look forward to working with them.