Criticism of Indonesian zoos is high, with frequent circulation within the media and social media of facilities that are listed as some of the worst zoos in the world. Wild Welfare partners with Indonesian zoos, tackling animal welfare issues and instead of allowing the distressing images and conversations to detract from efforts to help animals, we create positive relationships that can lead to welfare improvements.
Indonesia is a country of more than 2,000 individual islands, which together represent some of the planet’s most important biodiversity hotspots. There are more than 60 captive wild animal facilities registered with the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, spread across the islands of Java, Sumatra, Bali, Kalimantan and Sulawesi, more than 50 of which are members of the country’s regional zoo association – the Indonesian Zoo Association (PKBSI).
Wild Welfare is working with PKBSI to improve welfare for the country’s zoo animals, through training, the carrying out of zoo assessments and ongoing practical support to individual facilities. We provide veterinary and enrichment training with animal welfare partners that work directly with a number of Indonesian zoos and our work with PKBSI involves providing detailed advice on how to upgrade existing Indonesian zoo legislation.
The Ministry of Environment and Forestry and PKBSI have established a grading system for wild animal collections, which includes zoos, safari parks and aquariums and the main issues associated with the prevalence of facilities that grade low, is a result of out-dated animal enclosure design (many zoos are the original ones from Dutch colonial times) and poor levels of professional standards, leading to the very poor standards of animal welfare.
Since 2014 we have offered supported to Bandung Zoo, Ragunan Zoo and Surabaya Zoo, giving recommendations and carrying out practical training workshops and in 2016 we began a three-year partnership with The Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education – part of the University of Edinburgh’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies in the UK, the Indonesian Veterinary Medical Association (PDHI) and PKBSI, offering veterinary training to veterinarians from PKBSI zoos.
Our work in Indonesia is focussed on practical animal welfare training and capacity building, so facilities across the country can improve their care and welfare standards for the future, and our projects have a positive overlap with our collaboration with the South East Asian Zoos and Aquariums Association (SEAZA), as several Indonesian zoos are SEAZA members and are committed to meeting and exceeding the high animal care and management standards their welfare certification programme will set out.