AZA News Releases

Statement from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums

SILVER SPRING, Md. – The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) has invited Wayne Pacelle, the President and Chief Executive Officer of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), to speak at our Annual Conference this fall. 

HSUS is active in the animal welfare community and Pacelle has an important perspective to share with conference attendees. 

AZA-accredited facilities are well respected by HSUS. That was recently reflected in the following statement Pacelle made in an AZA news release about AZA accreditation.

“A serious, science-based accreditation program is vital to the health of the zoo and aquarium industry and to the animals at the center of these enterprises,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. “The AZA standards are strongest in the industry by a country mile, and while they don’t answer every question related to the care of animals and the other operations of zoos, they provide an essential baseline that humane organizations, the public, and other key stakeholders value immensely.”

The AZA Annual Conference will be held in early September in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Another keynote address will be provided by Dr. Carl Jones, 2016 winner of the prestigious Indianapolis Prize. In the second plenary session, John G. Shedd Aquarium President and CEO, Dr. Bridget Coughlin will moderate a panel of young leaders who will address the relevance and importance of aquariums and zoos.

AZA members are leaders in animal welfare and conservation. We are not afraid to listen and are interested in hearing all perspectives. We believe that listening makes our voice more powerful, and our advocacy more impactful.

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 eight 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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