Animal Welfare Committee
Providing for good animal welfare encompasses both ethical and scientific responsibilities. AZA-accredited institutions have an ethical responsibility to ensure the well-being of the animals in their care. In addition, AZA-accredited institutions have a scientific responsibility to gain a greater understanding of the well-being of the animals in their care by advancing animal welfare science.
Animal Welfare Committee's Definition of Animal Welfare
Animal Welfare refers to an animal’s collective physical, mental, and emotional states over a period of time, and is measured on a continuum from good to poor.
Explanation: An animal typically experiences good welfare when healthy, comfortable, well-nourished, safe, able to develop and express species-typical relationships, behaviors, and cognitive abilities, and not suffering from unpleasant states such as pain, fear, or distress. Because physical, mental, and emotional states may be dependent on one another and can vary from day to day, it is important to consider these states in combination with one another over time to provide an assessment of an animal’s overall welfare status.
Animal Welfare Committee's Mission Statement
The AZA Animal Welfare committee promotes good welfare for animals in AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums, by assisting member institutions in identifying and applying best practices in animal welfare and through promoting advances in animal welfare science.
The Animal Welfare Committee will achieve its mission by:
- Promoting a common understanding of animal welfare in the zoo and aquarium community.Assisting zoos and aquariums in identifying and applying best practices in animal welfare.
- Encouraging the development of research projects and assessment tools to advance and monitor animal welfare.
- Educating and engaging AZA zoos and aquariums in applying assessment tools.
- Understanding and influencing public perception about animal welfare in AZA zoos and aquariums.
Chris Kuhar, Ph.D., Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
Lance Miller, Ph.D., CZS / Brookfield Zoo
Stephanie Allard, Ph.D., Detroit Zoo
Cheri Asa, Ph.D., Saint Louis Zoo
David Bocian, San Francisco Zoo
Kathy Carlstead, Ph.D., Honolulu Zoo
Linda Criss, Akron Zoo
Greg Geise, Binder Park Zoo, President Emeritus
Amanda Ista, Milwaukee County Zoo, AAZK
Steve Martin, Steve Martin's Natural Encounters
Jill Mellen Ph.D., Disney's Animal Kingdom
David Powell, Ph.D., Bronx Zoo
Gary Priest, San Diego Zoo Global
Suzi Rapp, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
David Shepherdson, Ph.D., Oregon Zoo
Julie Scardina, SeaWorld and Busch Gardens
Douglas Whiteside, D.V.M., Calgary Zoo
Megan Wilson, Ph.D., Zoo Atlanta
Erika Bauer, Ph.D., Smithsonian National Zoo
Sara Hallager, Smithsonian National Zoo
Donald Moore III, Ph.D., Smithsonian National Zoo
Beth Stark Posta, Toledo Zoo
Greg Tarry, CAZA
Nadja Wielebnowski, Ph.D., Oregon Zoo
Sharon Dewar, Lincoln Park Zoo
Amos Morris, Mesker Park Zoo
AZA Staff Liaison:
Debborah Luke, Ph.D.