At the end of October the Wild Welfare team returned to Brazil to continue working with the Brazilian Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZAB) team.
The visit was to continue to help train and conduct zoos welfare audits as part of an ongoing zoo welfare certification process that we helped set up with AZAB.
Dave Morgan, Wild Welfare’s field director, said: “AZAB in partnership with Wild Welfare have attained just over 50 per cent of the audits planned to have taken place by 2022, and the AZAB certification standard and process demonstrated yet again, that it is a robust animal welfare protocol.”
Getting this certification is not just a tick in a box; it is a seal of approval that a facility has a high standard of care and welfare for the animals and is constantly striving for further improvements.
Evaluating whether a facility meets the AZAB standard of animal welfare thorough welfare audits is part of the process.
After conducting three audits in Parana State during this visit, a total of 26 Brazilian zoos and aquariums have undergone audits to date, of which nine facilities have attained certification since the inception of the process in 2016.
The Wild Welfare team was also in Brazil to find potential partner zoos to expand the charity’s Partner for Animals programme, which has been going from strength to strength with recent animal welfare successes being celebrated in Thailand.
While in Brazil, Wild Welfare wanted to develop relationships with some of the facilities within AZAB, that are interested in the Partner for Animals programme.
“The Partner for Animals programme will assist facilities in reaching accreditation standards and drive higher wild animal welfare practices across Brazil,” said Simon Marsh, the charity’s operations manager.
“This is a true partnership, where all will benefit, the animals and the staff at the zoos and aquariums.”
In the spirit of cooperative alliances, Wild Welfare was very grateful for the help of Dr Claudia Igayara (president of AZAB), Claudio Maas (the previous president of AZAB), Katia Cassaro (from Beto Carrero World) and Margaret Whittaker from Creative Animal Behaviour Solutions. We would also like to thank the directors and staff of the zoos we visited.
Facilities within Brazil and worldwide often share common welfare challenges. Identifying these challenges acts as our focus for action, that helps ensure the animals housed at the facility’s we work with can experience the best care possible.
Within facilities in Brazil, lack of species-specific enclosure design and a lack of appropriate space is one of the common challenges that leads to poor well-being for animals. Identifying specific solutions through simple changes in management and design along with a re-evaluation of space usage within enclosures and an appropriate enrichment programme, can all help improve the immediate welfare of the animals. The charity has seen other issues such as nutrition, documentation and management of confiscated pets as areas for improvement.
What was evident across the facilities we visited was the attitude of staff, who showed passion for their animals and an eagerness to learn. As well as that, there was never an incidence of an animal being shut out of an area and forced to be seen by the public. Every single animal had a choice to retreat to its house and that is of the utmost importance when it comes to animal welfare.
The Brazil visit was a successful and heartening one, teams are eager to join the Partner for Animals programme as they can see the benefits in developing their welfare standards and gaining accreditation and there is a strong desire and commitment to make improvements for the benefit of the animals across many zoos within the country.
Notes to Editors
For more information or interview requests please contact Wild Welfare on email@example.com
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 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 wildwelfare.org. Registered charity in England (no.1165941).