Pukaha receives ZAA Welfare Accreditation

Pukaha Mount Bruce has been recognized for meeting positive animal welfare outcomes.  Recently assessed by the Zoo and Aquarium Association’s (ZAA) Accreditation Program, Pukaha has successfully achieved Accreditation.  

The Zoo and Aquarium (ZAA) Accreditation Program has lifted the bar for animal welfare standards, and is for all ZAA member zoos and aquariums.  With a positive animal welfare focus, the new Accreditation Program is a world first for the zoo industry.

“The Accreditation Program is creating a new standard for animal welfare,” said ZAA President Kevin Tanner.  “Being accredited means our members can be proud of providing our animals with the best possible care.”

Rather than simply making sure animals are not experiencing negative welfare states, the new program goes a step further to focus on delivering positive welfare outcomes.  This new standard is a result of the Animal Welfare Position Statement released by ZAA in early 2013.  This contemporary framework looks at the Five Welfare Domains – from the four physical domains of nutrition, environment, health, and behavior through to the fifth domain of mental affective state. 

“The Animal Welfare Position Statement provides a strong foundation for zoos and aquariums to maintain and improve welfare for all animals in their care,” explained Mr Tanner.  “The Accreditation Program gives us a tool to assess that level of care provided at ZAA institutions.”

For Pukaha Mount Bruce to gain this accreditation means that they are ensuring the animals in their care live in a positive welfare state.

 “The Accreditation Program really celebrates and validates animal welfare states,” said Mr Tanner.  “This means the wider community can be certain that ZAA member institutions provide the best level of care for their animals, not just a minimum standard.”

ZAA member institutions are assessed every three years, with accreditation based on a principle of ongoing development and better practice.  This means criteria for assessment will be refined for each cycle to make sure that new understandings about animal welfare can be included.