AZA News Releases

Statement from AZA on a New Spurious List, Attacking AZA-Accredited Aquariums

Silver Spring, MD – Today, an animal activist organization released a list of what it believes are 10 aquariums that represent bad animal welfare for dolphins and whales, four of which are accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Kris Vehrs, Interim President & CEO of AZA, issued the following statement regarding this spurious list:

“The Association of Zoos and Aquariums rejects any list created by personal beliefs and innuendo rather than hard science and data. AZA-accredited aquariums and zoos are experts in cetacean care and species conservation, providing researchers unprecedented access to species and data, which is often impossible to gain from field research. The knowledge gained from zoos and aquariums in combination with field research produces robust insights that contribute to cetacean conservation. AZA-accredited facilities also provide expert care to cetaceans by meeting the animals’ medical, safety and dietary needs and also by enhancing their welfare through robust opportunities for positive activities focused on physical and mental health. Finally, AZA-accredited aquariums and zoos provide guests an opportunity to see, learn about, interact with, and develop a personal connection with animals they might never see in the wild, like dolphins, beluga whales and orcas. AZA-accredited aquariums and zoos will continue to provide state-of-the-art care to all of the marine mammals at their facilities.”

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. Members of AZA are leaders in saving species and your link to helping animals all over the world. To learn more, visit

I Accept

This site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. If you continue using our website, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on this website and you agree to our Privacy Policy.

Find a Zoo or Aquarium Donate to AZA Contact Us Member Login Search the site