The Zoo and Aquarium Association (the Association, ZAA), provides members with tools to assist with achieving excellence across all areas of operation including; animal welfare and husbandry, species management, animal health, biosecurity, science and research, education programs, conservation activities, records, research and visitor experience. All of these areas are managed within two primary streams;
- Professional Practices
- Species Management
Government liaison and advocacy is carried out within these two areas where relevant.
The Professional Practices area focuses on animal welfare, membership applications, membership development, biosecurity, veterinary management. Each of these areas is captured within three streams of management:
- Animal Health and Biosecurity
The position of ZAA is that all zoos and aquariums have a responsibility to ensure high standards of welfare for all animals in their care. Any activities involving animals must be underpinned by good welfare practices and routine animal health observation. Achieving accreditation can reassure ZAA members and the wider community that all animals in our care receive thoughtful and specialist consideration in regard to the resources provided to them.
To participate in the Accreditation Program, organisations must first become a member. On joining the Association, each organisation registers a firm commitment to the Association’s Codes of Practice and Ethics and the Animal Transactions policy, all of which have been developed and approved by the membership.
The process for membership involves applicants submitting a selection of documents that assist the Association’s Board with getting to know your organisation. The documents include an introduction to your facility and management information. It is very important that your organisational goals align with the management practices of ZAA and the wider membership.
Participation in the Accreditation Program is essential for the two levels of membership; Associate Institutional and Full Institutional. A new member must be an Associate Member for a period of two years into the Full Institutional Member category. Each membership category enables individual levels of participation in Association business and programs.
Association membership and participation in the Accreditation Program offers each member organisation the opportunity to work with other like-minded organisations. Animal welfare is enhanced by members seeking to develop better practice and then sharing their knowledge and experiences with colleagues across the membership.
The Association also focuses on animal welfare and the health of the environment through maintaining up-to-date knowledge on risks to the industry through disease surveillance. The Association considers animal health and biosecurity as key to successful zoo and aquarium operations. The Association assists members in this area by developing industry specific resources, including regional guidelines and manuals, and coordinating the efforts of the Veterinary SAG for regional outcomes. The Association works to ensure appropriate national policy development to allow importation of zoo animals into Australia and New Zealand.