The covid 19 virus strain is causing uncertainty and worry around the world. Being a small grassroots charity, we are sadly not immune to the impact. Our international reach means our remit involves global travel, visiting zoos and working with local and national communities as part of our programmes. Whilst we are always looking for ways to reduce the necessity of travel (and our carbon footprint), some in-country project work is always essential. We always ensure our team carry out a high standard of health and safety related protocols when at work and with the advent of the coronavirus, we have reviewed these protocols, ensuring our team and partners are as safe as they can be when in the field. We take bio-security seriously and are very grateful to Safe4 for providing us with gloves and disinfectant products to use whilst we are conducting in-country work. Pocket sized hand sanitiser containers are extremely useful and some Safe4 products have been proven to be effective against coronavirus.
However, with the covid 19 virus outbreak now classified as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation, the travel required for our field project work must be severely decreased. This is for the protection of our staff as well as ensuring we follow current travel guidelines and restrictions.
Although this will have implications for the animals, people and communities we are working with, we are continuing to provide support and guidance remotely. Field trips for workshops, training and meetings are not the only aspect to our projects, and we have always worked with our overseas partners in between field trips. Whether through the development of identified and tailored resources, specific species advice, learning materials or just on-going support, we maintain active communication and action to build strong relationships and partnerships that are critical for long term change. In light of the current situation, we are now investigating further alternatives such as virtual workshops and online meetings to continue the work already achieved by, for example, our partners in the Partner for Animals programme. It is important to keep the momentum going until we can continue on-the-ground initiatives and practical staff training programmes. Not only does this mean we can meet our objectives in these challenging times but can also build on the existing relationship we have with our partner zoos and aquariums.
Whilst we often highlight our field work to our supporters, we also have some really exciting on-going programmes that include developing accessible animal welfare resources and support packages. One such programme is an exciting learning programme that we aim to launch later this year. This extensive programme has been designed to be universally applicable to those wanting to find out more about animal welfare in zoos and aquariums, encouraging participation and engagement on topical welfare issues and practices. We are also using this opportunity to continue with our various research programmes that provide evidence based material for our animal welfare resources as well as supporting effective strategy planning for future programmes.
Unfortunately in these uncertain times, grassroots charities such as ours do suffer financially. Understandably organisations and supporters become less able to donate when they themselves are uncertain about their future. If you like what we do, we really do appreciate your continued support, through liking and sharing our content within your networks on social media. The value we place on knowing that our work is appreciated, useful and above all making a difference, is huge in driving our vital work forward. Where it is possible, a continued regular or one off donation is incredibly important to us in these uncertain times, allowing us to carefully plan for the future and secure funds that allow us to be active for many years to come, helping more animals around the world.
Our team is committed to ensuring all zoos are good zoos. Our activities can adapt to these uncertain times, so that we can continue to push forward our projects and create a world where all animals get to live a life worth living.
Notes to Editors
For more information or interview requests please contact Wild Welfare on firstname.lastname@example.org
Wild Welfare is a global organisation committed to improving animal welfare for captive wild animals. We unite the world’s leading zoos and animal welfare organisations, building trusting partnerships that help provide long-term solutions to the most critical captive wild animal welfare issues.
Wild Welfare challenges practices that compromise animal welfare, respecting cultural differences but not allowing them to be an excuse for poor welfare. Our vision is to end the suffering of captive wild animals around the world and ensure full and sustainable protection is given to all animals in human care. Find out more at www.wildwelfare.org Registered charity in England (no.1165941).