Measuring Zoo Animal Welfare

Organiser: Sabrina Brando, World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Switzerland

Schedule: Thursday 7th June 10:00 - 15:20, G35


Understanding how wild animals housed in zoos and aquariums are faring is one of the responsibilities of zoo professionals today. Are animals having a good quality of life? Do they seem happy, engaged, curious, or are they fearful or anxious? Do they have extensive behavioural repertoires usually found for this species, or does it seem to be a reduced range? And how does this vary between individuals? Measuring different aspects can aid to gauge what an animal might be experiencing. Considering behavioural categories as well as how, reflecting not only physical behaviour recorded in classic ethograms, but also the expressive qualities emerging from the many different kinds of physical behaviours. Research is necessary to make evidence-based decisions regarding animal welfare efforts, with the aim to promote, as much as possible, positive animal welfare. This symposium brings together zoo animal welfare experts offering their perspectives on measuring wild animal welfare.


10:00-10:20    Holly Farmer
Application of Technologies to Welfare Assessments in Zoos
10:20-10:40   Maria Diez Leon
Abnormal repetitive behaviours as indicators of zoo animal welfare: why, what, when and how to measure
10:40-11:00    Robert Young and Vinicius Goulart
Using sound observations to measure behaviour
11:00-11:30    Coffee
11:30-11:50    Samantha Ward and Geoff Hosey
Measuring Human-Animal Interactions and Relationships: using psychological and biological approaches
11:50-12:10    Sarah Chapman
A proactive monitoring programme for ageing zoo animals
12:10-12:30 Fay Clark
Competence and Agency as Novel Measures of Zoo Animal Welfare

12:30 - 14:00 Lunch

14:00 -15:20 Workshop and discussion.


Polar bear in zoo


This symposium is sponsored by the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums