Wednesday, 24 February 2016

International collaboration improves zoo standards

International collaboration improves zoo standards: Hanoi zoo closes its circus

The Hanoi zoo circus has long operated as a separate commercial enterprise, within the zoo grounds, but under independent management, meaning that its regulation through zoo authorities is a challenge. However after a two-year collaboration between the zoo and charities Wild Welfare and Animals Asia, the circus has finally closed.

Animals Asia Animal Welfare Officer Nguyen Tam Thanh said:
“There has been no major announcement just a quiet closure and we are hugely grateful for this huge step. We rightly continue to expose cruelty so we are duty bound to recognise progress and this is certainly that. While we have been going about our work to improve the conditions for animals at Hanoi Zoo we have been consistently advocating to close the circus."

Heather Bacon of the JMICAWE has visited the zoo a number of times, most recently in October 2015 to deliver veterinary CPD to the veterinary team, and collaborate in the teaching of a bear husbandry workshop held there. Heather said:

“This is a hugely positive move for the animals at the zoo. It is incredibly easy to criticise practices like animal performances but much more difficult to engage with stakeholders and work towards raising standards of welfare and eliminating bad practices. This is a great example of international cooperation achieving positive results.”

Animals Asia has also developed a National Working Group of zoo directors and government officials and have since produced the very first draft guidelines for the welfare of wild animals in captivity in Vietnam. Once ratified by the working group, these guidelines will be presented to the national government for incorporation into a national standard.

Heather delivering clinical CPD at the Hanoi zoo, with the Animals Asia team

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