29 June 2016
Brooklands Zoo’s high standard of care for its animals has been confirmed with a new accreditation.
The zoo is one of a handful in the country to complete the Zoo and Aquarium Association’s (ZAA) Animal Welfare Accreditation Programme, which takes a new approach to the health and welfare of captive animals.
Says Brooklands Zoo Coordinator Eve Cozzi: “We still work on the broad principles of good welfare, such as making sure the animals can choose their food, move around and express their natural behaviours.
“But this new accreditation builds on those principles by delivering positive welfare outcomes based on five welfare domains: nutrition, environment, health, behaviour and mental affective state.
“The accreditation is quite detailed and I’m proud that Brooklands Zoo has been confirmed as meeting that high standard of care.”
Among the accreditation notes were particular praise for the variety of environments provided to the animals and how they have choice over microclimates (e.g. sun or shade, being at height or on the ground) and their diet.
ZAA New Zealand Representative and Immediate Past-President Karen Fifield says with a focus on delivering positive animal welfare rather than just eliminating negative factors, the new accreditation programme is a world first for the zoo industry.
“The wider community can be certain that ZAA member institutions provide the best level of care for their animals, not just a minimum standard,” she says.
Brooklands Zoo’s accreditation lasts for three years.
- ZAA represents the zoo and aquarium community throughout Australasia. The association has 91 member organisations, 86 of which are zoos, aquariums and museums, with the remainder comprising universities, TAFEs (technical and further education institutions) and government departments.