EU legislation has a great impact on the work of zoos and aquariums in Europe. National Zoo legislation finds its base in the EU Zoos Directive setting out the public role of zoos and obliging Member States to develop and implement a license system for zoos. It is only these facilities that are licensed and fulfil the national criteria that can be open for the public more than six days a year.
EAZA represents its members in EU processes and at EU institutions to be the voice of the European zoo community. EAZA informs its members of different EU processes that might impact their work. A good example for this is the close cooperation of EAZA’s National Association Committee, which deals with legislation from the EAZA side and veterinary committee on animal health legislation where the specific needs of zoos due to our species diversity is brought into the development of different processes. This is important as EU’s animal health legislation has an important impact on EAZA’s work and how to safeguard both human and animal health standards.
Also EAZA’s conservation and educational work is high-lighted in Brussels to ensure that all stakeholders are aware of the impact of zoos in saving species and informing the general public of conservation issues. Zoos are unique with reaching millions of visitors every year that have no other opportunity to get in contact with nature and conservation. This gives EAZA a unique profile of scientific expertise with a large public impact. This is recognized by the different European stakeholders and helps us to work together with them on quality policies.
EAZA has good relations with the different European stakeholders and is proud of sharing the expertise of our community with other parties to ensure good legislation and policies are set up. We believe in European cooperation and that sharing and working together is benefitting all. Therefore, we engage in EU processes and work with our visitors on the implementation of these policies.