AZA News Releases

AZA's statement on Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium’s decision to forfeit AZA accreditation

Silver Spring, MD – Today the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium announced that it would forfeit its Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ accreditation effective immediately. In response, Jim Maddy, President and CEO of AZA, issued the following statement:

“The Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ accreditation is widely regarded as representing the highest standards in animal welfare and care, including modern zoological practices related to elephants. The AZA is disappointed that Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium has decided their status quo was preferable to complying with the AZA’s more rigorous occupational safety standards related to caring for elephants. They were a 29-year member of AZA, and the AZA and the AZA Accreditation Commission had been hopeful they would elect to comply with the revised occupational safety standards.” 

About AZA

Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, animal welfare, education, science, and recreation. AZA is the accrediting body for the top zoos and aquariums in the United States and seven other countries. Look for the AZA accreditation logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. The AZA is a leader in saving species and your link to helping animals all over the world. To learn more, visit

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