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Raising welfare standards for captive wild animals in Japan

Wild Welfare and JAZA partner for animal welfare

Raising welfare standards for captive wild animals in Japan

Wild Welfare is visiting Japan this month, to help wild captive animal directors to raise animal welfare standards in their zoos.

From 3rd – 7th July, Wild Welfare is delighted to be providing two workshops in Osaka (Tennoji Zoo) and Tokyo (Ueno Zoo), for the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums (JAZA) members who want to develop their skills, expertise and actions in animal welfare-based assessment management. Wild Welfare will provide complimentary support and training in the development of these skills and provide resources for JAZA and its members to help them effectively monitor, evaluate and improve standards. The workshop aims to encourage the implementation and monitoring of good standards of husbandry and management in order to safeguard the welfare of captive wild animals under human care.

There are many zoos and aquariums in Japan that strive to be innovative, educational and inspirational for its visitors. However, high standards cannot always be achieved because of a lack of appropriate regulations that oversee animal care and welfare. It is not only distressing for visitors to see animals living in inadequate environments, but poor welfare has drastic and long-lasting effects on the animals as well.

JAZA is the regional zoo association and has a large membership of more than 150 member zoos and aquariums. Members are encouraged to maintain high standards of animal care and must follow a code of ethics pertaining to national standards. However, the large number of facilities means that JAZA cannot make regular inspections and review members on their animal care and management.

The partnership between Wild Welfare and JAZA will build on a strong existing collaboration and strengthen links between key stakeholders. It will help develop a welfare-based checklist that JAZA members are encouraged to follow. This partnership will also deliver on a program to build capacity in the areas of ‘Community and Animal Welfare’, emphasising the importance of regional zoo community development to safeguard human, animal, and environmental health and welfare.

Zoos are often criticised on their animal welfare, education and conservation conduct. Some zoos where extreme welfare concerns exist are increasingly being criticised by the public and a growing and concerned animal welfare community. A lack of relevant institutional regulations can result in poor animal welfare, exacerbated by a lack of visitor respect or awareness. Keepers, curators and veterinary staff within these facilities require specialist expertise to effectively care for exotic captive collections. Without such expertise, animal care, conservation and education can suffer.

“We are excited to be in a position to support the Japanese captive wild animal community and we appreciate all their continued support, enthusiasm and expertise to help raise animal welfare standards in the region,” said Georgina Allen, Wild Welfare’s projects director.


Notes to Editors

For more information or interview requests please contact Wild Welfare on Wild Welfare is a global organisation committed to improving animal welfare standards in captive wild animal facilities. Its mission is to partner with zoo associations, accredited zoos and aquariums, zoo professionals and leading international animal welfare organizations in identifying and improving the conditions of captive wild animals kept under circumstances of severe distress.

Wild Welfare was established in 2012 and has rapidly established itself as an internationally recognised hub in zoo animal welfare reform, forming effective collaborative relationships with a number of animal welfare NGOs, reputable universities and professional bodies.

Wild Welfare’s vision is to end the suffering of captive wild animals around the world and ensure that full and sustainable protection is given to all animals in human care.