Taronga Zoo has become one of the first zoos recognised under a new animal welfare program launched by the Zoo and Aquarium Association (ZAA).
Only nine zoos and wildlife parks across Australia have been recognised so far for their positive animal welfare outcomes. This was assessed by the ZAA Accreditation program.
This is a first for the zoo industry worldwide. The program is raising the bar for animal welfare standards and values positive welfare outcomes.
Executive Director of the ZAA, Chris Hibbard said, “The Accreditation Program is creating a new standard for animal welfare. Being accredited means our members can be proud of providing our animals with the best possible care.”
The new program doesn’t only look at whether animal welfare is in a negative state but focuses on delivering positive welfare outcomes.
The accreditation process is judged against standards such as nutrition, health and behaviour. This new standard was developed from the Animal Welfare Position statement which ZAA released in early 2013.
Taronga Zoo was proud to be one of the first to achieve this accreditation as Director, Cameron Kerr explained, “Taronga takes pride in being a leader in delivering positive welfare outcomes for the remarkable animals in our care, so this accreditation is great recognition for the hard work of our entire team, including keepers, veterinary staff, scientists and nutritionists.”
“This accreditation means the wider community can be certain that Taronga is providing the best level of care for our animals. We believe that good animal welfare is essential and will also assist us to achieve our wildlife conservation goals,” he added.
Institutions will be assessed by the ZAA every three years.
Photo Credit: Taronga Zoo