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Article

Using Zoo Welfare Assessments to Identify Common Issues in Developing Country Zoos

1
School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham NG25 0QF, UK
2
Wild Welfare, West Sussex RH10 1HT, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2020, 10(11), 2101; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10112101
Received: 23 October 2020 / Revised: 5 November 2020 / Accepted: 10 November 2020 / Published: 12 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development and Assessment of Animal Welfare Indicators)
Zoo animal welfare is a high priority for many institutions. Modern zoos try to ensure that animals are housed and managed at high standards, using animal welfare assessments based on scientific evidence-based practices. However, animal welfare standards for developing country zoos may not be as high, as the most up-to-date knowledge may not be available or understood. The aim of this research was to investigate if there were common welfare concerns associated with zoo animal provision across different developing country zoos. Zoo welfare audits were completed at 11 zoos in seven developing countries (Brazil, Egypt, Libya, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam). The results suggest that animal behaviour, animals’ positive mental states and human health and safety were areas that needed support. These common themes were likely due to a lack of knowledge and understanding that may be linked to historical and cultural differences. This research has helped to inform future intervention strategies for improving developing country zoo animal welfare.
Zoo animal welfare is a high priority for many institutions worldwide, with modern zoos now ensuring that animals are housed and cared for to the highest standards. However, in countries where this knowledge is not as available or understood, standards may be lower. The aim of this research was to investigate if there were common zoo welfare concerns across developing country zoos. Wild Welfare is a charity working globally to improve welfare for zoo animals and has an independent welfare audit that is carried out before any intervention occurs. The Wild Welfare Audit, consisting of 110 questions, covering nine topics, was completed at 11 zoos in seven developing countries (Brazil, Egypt, Libya, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam) following a Likert scale score (1–3). A principal component analysis was also performed to evaluate the audit questions. The results suggest that common areas of concern were animal behaviour, positive animal mental states and human health and safety. These themes were likely due to the lack knowledge and understanding that may be linked to historical and cultural differences. This research has helped to revise the welfare audit as well as inform future intervention strategies for improving developing country zoo animal welfare. View Full-Text
Keywords: welfare; audit; welfare assessment; animal management; animal care; zoo; wildlife welfare; audit; welfare assessment; animal management; animal care; zoo; wildlife
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ward, S.J.; Williams, E.; Groves, G.; Marsh, S.; Morgan, D. Using Zoo Welfare Assessments to Identify Common Issues in Developing Country Zoos. Animals 2020, 10, 2101. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10112101

AMA Style

Ward SJ, Williams E, Groves G, Marsh S, Morgan D. Using Zoo Welfare Assessments to Identify Common Issues in Developing Country Zoos. Animals. 2020; 10(11):2101. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10112101

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ward, Samantha J., Ellen Williams, Georgina Groves, Simon Marsh, and David Morgan. 2020. "Using Zoo Welfare Assessments to Identify Common Issues in Developing Country Zoos" Animals 10, no. 11: 2101. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10112101

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