Part of ZAA’s mission is to uphold the highest level of professional standards in animal welfare. One way of accomplishing this mission is by encouraging the development of animal welfare programs in accredited facilities. ZAA serves as a resource for its members by helping guide and elevate their welfare standards.

ZAA defines animal welfare as how an individual or group of animals lives within its provided environment. Welfare is measured by using a collection of scientific evidence through continual assessments of indicators that account for an animal’s physiological and psychological needs.

The key elements of a successful animal welfare program are:

  • a defined animal welfare mission understood by all representatives of an organization,
  • a clear and transparent process for identifying and addressing welfare opportunities,
  • proper documentation of welfare assessments and communications,
  • written end of life and critical care policies in accordance with a veterinarian, clear communication across all organizational members, and
  • routine evaluation of welfare programs ensuring the institutions’ animal welfare mission and goals are being met.

ZAA continues to focus on ways to elevate animal welfare among its members. Goals of the Animal Welfare Committee include a member driven resource bank, professional development opportunities, and conference programs that focus on advancements in animal welfare. ZAA is leading the way in animal welfare research, development, and program implementation.

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