The Wild Welfare team have been back in Japan, providing a captive wild animal welfare seminar in Tokyo, with partners The Japan Animal Welfare Society (JAWS).
Partnering for the third consecutive year, Wild Welfare and JAWS, held a day’s seminar in Shibuya, Tokyo. Kindly organised by JAWS HQ’s director, Dr Nai Machiya-san, the seminar attracted a diverse group of more than 30 attendees from within and around Tokyo, that included prefectural vets, zoo vets, animal science students, zoo staff and members of the public. JAWS secretary Osamu Uno-san, gave an introduction on the importance of animal welfare for all animals, including wildlife in captivity, and led everyone into a great day of discussion and interaction.
In the morning our team presented on the physiological and psychological needs of wild animals in captivity and how to assess an animal’s welfare, with particular focus on the needs of chimpanzees and elephants. We considered the importance of species-suitable enclosures and meeting their physiological and psychological needs at all times, and consequently, what to look for when carrying out an assessment of the animal’s welfare.
Taking what they had learnt, attendees then spent the afternoon working in groups, coming up with suitable animal welfare assessment questions they would ask, to determine the welfare status of each animal. This is a particularly important element for vets who work for local authorities and prefectures in Japan, as they are often the staff requested to visit and assess captive facilities if there is a welfare concern and need to know how to ask the right questions as part of that process.
Commenting on the seminar, Georgina Groves, Wild Welfare’s projects director, said: “We had a really enthusiastic group of participants this year, who even climbed on tables to draw enclosure ideas to demonstrate their assessment approaches! The feedback from the seminar was extremely positive and we’ve already been asked to extend to a two-day event next year.”
Huge thanks go to our partners JAWS, and also to Keiko Yamazaki (Founder of the Animal Literacy Research Institute) a colleague and friend of Wild Welfare, for her fantastic translation during the seminar. We look forward to next year!
Image: Participants’ enthusiastically working in groups to identify welfare assessment considerations!