EAZA is committed to ensuring promotion of positive animal welfare and being a recognised organisation for animal welfare research and application

EAZA is committed to promoting the positive welfare of animals in not only our member institutions but also supporting zoos and aquaria which are currently working towards reaching EAZA’s accreditation standards. EAZA Members are proactive in both undertaking and applying animal welfare scientific research, contributing to EAZA being a recognised organisation in animal welfare best-practice.

Alongside supporting EAZA Members in their in-house animal welfare initiatives, EAZA has adopted a multi-faceted and multi-disciplined approach to promote positive animal welfare. This is supported through the EAZA Committee for Technical Assistance, the EAZA Academy and the EAZA Animal Welfare Working Group; plus generous funding from Fondation Segré and the World Association of Zoo Aquariums (WAZA), all of which aim to guide and support institutions in animal welfare best-practice and zoo management standards.


What is welfare?

Animal welfare refers to the physiological and psychological well-being of animals – effectively, this is how the individual animal is coping, both mentally and physically, at a particularly point in time. This means adopting a multi-disciplined, scientifically evidence-based approach to assure that the animal’s needs and wants are met. This should include, for example, the provision of effective veterinary care, meeting dietary requirements, providing individuals with the opportunity to perform their species-specific behavioural repertoire and promoting positive emotional states.

Animal welfare science has progressed dramatically in recent years and the methods by which we evaluate welfare are continually evolving. As new research is released and ideas shared our understanding of species-specific, and individual, needs and wants develops. Through conducting this research and applying the knowledge gained, animal welfare best-practice continues to progress.


Academy Animal Welfare Workshops

The EAZA Academy offers a range of welfare-related topics, including Animal Welfare, Aquatic Animal Welfare and exploring the role of animal training in promoting welfare. The workshops are aimed at all sectors of the zoo and aquarium community and aim to expand both practical and theoretical animal welfare best-practice skills. 100% of the 188 people who have already completed EAZA animal welfare workshops would recommend it to others.

For more information, include details of workshop dates and how to apply, please visit our Courses page.

In conjunction with San Diego Zoo Global Academy and Cypherworx, there are also over 300 online learning courses and webinars available, allowing you to develop your skill set at a time which suits you best. To find out more please go to the EAZA Academy: Online site

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Animal Welfare Working Group

The role of the EAZA Animal Welfare Working Group (AWWG) is to support and advise EAZA Ex situ Programmes (EEP and ESBs), Taxon Advisory Groups (TAGs) and other EAZA Committees and Working Groups in animal welfare best practice through applied, evidence-based, animal welfare science, in order to promote positive animal welfare throughout all EAZA institutions.

The AWWG team consists of animal welfare experts from a broad range of disciplines, from veterinary surgeons and educators, to zoo keepers and scientific researchers. All bring specialist expertise to the group to allow all facets of animal welfare and a broad range of species-specific knowledge to be represented.

The AWWG is currently developing and delivering animal-welfare related workshops with the EAZA Academy, developing educational resources, producing articles for EAZAs quarterly publications, Zooquaria and the Journal of Zoo and Aquarium Research (JZAR); and acting on an advisory capacity to the zoological community on all matters of animal welfare best-practice.

For more information on the AWWG please contact


Animal welfare resources

Click on the image below to download animal welfare related articles, peer-reviewed publications, facts sheets and templates. (CURRENTLY UNDER CONSTRUCTION)

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