In Vietnam, a lack of government regulation, experience and skills has resulted in some poorly managed facilities across the country. As the number of zoos and captive animal facilities increases in Vietnam, our work helping to address poor standards of animal care and welfare has never been more urgent.
Vietnam is developing more zoos, safari-like parks and dolphinariums and increasing its wildlife rescue centres in response to illegal trade. Captive wild animal facilities across the country have an essential role to play in enabling the effective confiscation and accommodation of animals caught up in the illegal wildlife trade and in educating the Vietnamese public on the importance of wildlife conservation.
Wild Welfare is working together with Vietnamese zoos, the Vietnam Zoos Association (VZA) and Vietnam’s government bodies, finding practical and legislative solutions to the country’s zoo animal welfare issues. We have been helping the VZA and their 20-zoo membership, to develop a welfare assessment programme. Once in place, the programme will form part of a membership criteria for existing and potential member zoos to adhere to and will help instil improved animal health and welfare practices in VZA zoos and act as a positive example for all zoos across the country.
Working together with animal welfare organisations is key to our work in Vietnam and as a result of our successful partnerships, we have developed a National Zoo Working Group, which is putting together a set of national captive wild animal welfare standards – the first step to legislative change that can help ensure greater protection for wild animals living in captivity across the country.
Our work in Vietnam also involves the continued, practical support of individual zoos. We base expert volunteers at zoos to support the development of animal enrichment practices, behavioural observations and improved animal care and public education programmes, all of which enable long-term changes to take place that can significantly improve conditions for zoo animals.