Raising Awareness of the Need to Ensure High Welfare Standards For Wild Animals Housed in Captivity
On the 8th and 9th December 2014, a director’s forum to discuss the need to protect the welfare of animals at captive wild animal facilities in Vietnam- such as wildlife rescue centres and zoos- was convened and hosted by the Vietnam National Agriculture University, Change for Animals Foundation, Animals Asia and Wild Welfare, with the support of the Hanoi Agriculture Department.
Such wild animal facilities in Vietnam are playing an increasingly important role in the conservation of endangered species, by enabling the effective confiscation and accommodation of animals caught up in the illegal wildlife trade and through educating the Vietnamese public on the importance of species and habitat conservation. However, the welfare of animals at these facilities is often compromised, with inadequate housing and management to ensure the animals physical, behavioural and psychological needs are met.
The forum brought together managers of captive wildlife-holding facilities from both the Vietnamese and international community to discuss animal welfare concepts and how these concepts can contribute to the development of internationally recognised and renowned species conservation programmes, through the prioritisation of high animal welfare standards.
Speakers representing the zoo communities of Vietnam, Australia, USA, and the UK provided insights into the developing field of animal welfare science and its practical application within the management of captive wildlife facilities.
Animals Asia, Change for Animals Foundation and Wild Welfare are now in the process of working with senior zoo executives and government officials to implement recommendations agreed to, including the inclusion of animal welfare concepts within zoo licensing regulations and staff training to ensure high welfare standards are implemented.