Hamilton Zoo recognised for animal welfare practices

calendar iconPosted 5 November 2011

Hamilton Zoo recognised for animal welfare practices

Hamilton Zoo has been recognised for its commitment to animal welfare as part of a
world-leading accreditation programme that assess welfare in zoos and aquariums.

The Zoo and Aquarium Association (ZAA) recently announced Hamilton Zoo successfully achieved the accreditation, which includes an assessment onsite, under its 2020 programme.  

ZAA is the professional membership organisation representing zoos, aquariums, sanctuaries and wildlife parks across Australasia.

Dr Baird Fleming says he was very pleased to achieve the accreditation as it reflects the importance the Zoo team places on the well-being of animals in their care.

“We come to work every day with a desire to provide the best environment possible for these animals,” said Dr Fleming.

“Achieving accreditation such as this is reinforcement that we are getting it right.”

The Accreditation 2020 Programme has a progressive, science-based approach to animal welfare and has been designed using the Five Domains model, developed by leading animal welfare scientist Professor David Mellor.

The Five Domains include nutrition, environment, health, behaviour and mental state. The 2020 programme assess an animal’s welfare on a range of criteria under each of these domains to ensure a holistic and thorough assessment has been made of each assessed specimen.

ZAA Executive Director Nicola Craddock says this is the most ambitious programme for promoting positive animal welfare of any zoos, aquariums or sanctuaries in the world.

“It requires the animal care professionals to use their unique knowledge of both the species and the individuals to asses how that particular animal is affected by its situation,” said Ms Craddock.

“This approach champions welfare from the animal’s perspective.”

Ms Craddock says every ZAA member must be accredited and, over the next three years, all members will be assessed under the new programme. 

As an advocacy group, ZAA represents collectively the voice of the zoos, aquariums and wildlife parks across Australasia that operate to the highest standards.