Requirements for Modern Zoos

Note by , created over 6 years ago

Zoo Animals (Reason for Zoos) Note on Requirements for Modern Zoos, created by serenacutbill on 05/15/2013.

Created by serenacutbill over 6 years ago
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Page 1

Part of the collection-planning process

Can the zoo provide adequate resources to meet the welfare needs of species that are difficult or expensive to maintain?

Can inclusion be justified on conservation, education, research or recreation grounds?


Should the zoo do this?

Have steps been taken to minimise the risk of harm to welfare?

Cost:Benefit analysis

Freedom from hunger, thirst and malnutrition

ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigour

Freedom from discomfort

providing a suitable environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area

Freedom from pain, injury and disease

prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment

Freedom to express most normal behaviour

providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal's own kind

Freedom from fear and distress

ensuring conditions which avoid mental suffering


Can be carried out ex situ or in situ

Zoos must: participate in research from which conservation benefits accrue to the species, and/or the exchange of information relating to species conservation and/or where appropriate, captive breeding, repopulation or reintroduction of species into the wild promoting public education and awareness in relation to the conservation of biodiversity, particularly by providing information about the species exhibited and their natural habitats

Undertaken in the zoo

Undertaken abroad

Involve species indigenous to the country

Involve species from abroad

"Action the directly enhances the chances of habitat and species persisting in the wild" ZSL

In situ conservation:The conservation of ecosystems and natural habitats and the maintenance and recovery of viable populations of species in their natural surroundings and, in the case of some domesticated or cultivated species, in the surroundings where they have developed their distinctive properties

Ex situ conservation:The conservation of components of biological diversity outside their distinctive properties

Species management programmes:Involve captive breeding, within or outside the species' natural habitat. Animals may be held in single-sex groups for future breeding or as designated non-breeding stock. This ensures zoos do not over-produce and create a problem of unwanted animals

Taxon Advisory Groups (TAG):Larger zoos also expect staff to participate actively in TAGs, run studbooks and contribute to other areas of captive management

A zoo must have a written education strategy and an active education programme

Suitable facilities should be available for education purposes

Accurate information about the species exhibited must be available. This should include, as a minimum, the species name (both scientific and common), its natural habitat, some of its biological characteristics and details of its conservation status


1. The REPLACEMENT of the use of animals in biomedical research wherever possible

3 R's:

5 Freedoms:

2. Where no alternatives are available, REDUCTION of the numbers of animals used to the minimum required to meet the objectives

3. REFINEMENT of experimental and husbandry techniques to minimise any risks or harm to welfare

Zoos should be able to demonstrate that they encourage research. Research can be developed through forging links with Higher Education Institutions

In any research carried out, care must be taken to comply with all relevant legislation and be subject to ethical review. Protocols, licenses and associated publications should be available at inspections

Participating in research from which conservation benefits accrue is one of the options available to zoos to implement the conservation measures required by the EC Zoos Directive

Research should be within the scope of any collection. This need constitute no more than collecting and collating information for statistical purposes. Record keeping should therefore be comprehensive and carried out in a systematic way. Where possible, zoos should use standard protocols for data collection to enable analysis. Data collection is usually carried out by zoo staff, but volunteers research workers or students my undertake it

Seemingly harmless research (eg. dietary manipulation, blood sampling) requires careful thought and planning and should be subject to independent assessment

The Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1981 specifies that a regulated procedure is 'any experimental or other scientific procedure which may have the effect of causing the animal pain, suffering, distress or lasting harm'. This type of research requires licensing of the project and the person carrying out the work, and is subject to periodic visits by a Home Office Inspector

Research is of very limited value if the results are not made available to others, especially where they can help to influence the welfare, health or conservation of animals. Data should be readily available on request, or published

Ethical Review

5 Freedoms & 3 R's