Hosted by Apenheul, The Netherlands (21-24 March, 2022)

EAZA is proud to announce the launch of its first Animal Welfare Forum. The Animal Welfare Forum will bring together up to 200 representatives of zoos and aquariums, welfare organisations and academic institutions for three days of workshops, presentations and other activities, discussing and highlighting an evidence-based approach to animal welfare and bridging the gap between welfare research and application.

Conference schedule

Monday 21 March Academy course , side meetings and icebreaker
Tuesday 22 March Conference Day 1 (EAZA)
Wednesday 23 March Conference Day 2 (Morning sessions sponsored by WAZA) 
Thursday 24 March Conference Day 3 (EAZA) and farewell dinner
Friday 25 March Apenheul tour plus visit to Stichting AAP

We are aware that circumstances regarding travel may change at the last minute, therefore we would encourage interested parties to submit an abstract in anticipation of attending, but we are understanding of necessary changes.

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Call for abstracts (Closed)

EAZA and Apenheul Primate Park Foundation is inviting submission of abstracts for the EAZA Animal Welfare Forum 2022. Please submit your abstracts to: onnika.van.oosterbosch@eaza.net with ‘AWF22 [Poster/workshop/presentation] Abstract [Name]’ in the subject line.

Click here to download the abstract submission form

Submission has now closed: in case of inquiries please contact sally.binding@eaza.net

• The topic of your abstract should support the forum theme - ‘Bridging the Gap - bringing together animal welfare research and application, to improve evidence-based animal welfare best practice’.
• Submissions are welcomed from both practitioners and researchers.
• Abstracts should be no more than 300 words and written in English.
• Indicate if your submission is for an oral presentation (20 minutes), poster or workshop (1 hour).
• Please use the abstract submission form, other formats are not accepted
• All delegates, including speakers, must register for the conference.
• All submissions will receive an acknowledgement upon receipt, and an acceptance/rejection confirmation before 31 August 2021. We kindly request you refrain from inquiring about the status of your submission prior to this date and we thank you for your patience.



A very warm welcome from Apenheul Primate Park Foundation! We are tremendously proud to be the host of the first EAZA Animal Welfare Forum. It was the vision of our founding fathers in the early ‘70’s to create a park from the perspective of animals, especially primates, where people are merely guests. Our animals are free roaming or housed on islands, with natural boundaries where possible. As humans we are guests in their world and this has led to a unique park with over 18 free roaming primate species and another 17 other primate species on islands, in a lush, green environment.

We love nature and hope that a visit to our park increases the love of nature and animals in particular within our guests. A mission maybe even more relevant today, then when our park was founded. Given the fact that we house and take care of animals to fulfill our mission, we want to be a frontrunner when it comes to animal welfare.

The way we look at animals and their well-being is not static. It develops in time and is becoming a more important topic to the general public. Zoos are experts on this matter and have a lot of expertise with regards to animal husbandry, their behaviour and physical and psychological needs and well-being. And many of us also work with renowned institutes and universities to enhance our knowledge and that of others on this matter. This gives us the opportunity to be on the forefront in the discussion on animal welfare and become a reference point on this important topic.

We hope that this first EAZA Animal Welfare Forum will be the start of a joint and continues welfare program in zoos and other institutions. A start of the metaphoric bridge we need to build to combine the knowledge of scientific institutions with the practical experience of zoos. All this so we can work together to continually improve animal welfare, in as well as outside our parks.

From all of us at Apenheul, we wish you an inspiring and fruitful event!

Roel Welsing

Managing Director 
Apenheul Foundation

Logo Apenheul


Conference theme: Bridging the Gap: Bringing together animal welfare research and application, to improve evidence-based animal welfare best practice

With new advances in animal welfare research and understanding, it is important that we are able to employ this science in our collections to ensure we are doing everything we can to promote positive animal welfare. The first session is solely dedicated to this theme with a direct focus on animal welfare assessment.

The programme is then structured to reflect Mellor and Beausoleil’s (2015) extended Five Domains of Animal Welfare model. The four Physical/Functional Domains: Nutrition, Environment, Health & Behaviour and the one Affective Experience Domain: Mental State. Each domain is explored with the lens of the bridging the gap theme, focusing on how we can implement the research in each of these areas within the our zoos and aquariums.

We are currently working on expanding presentations and workshops in a number of areas of the programme, particularly concerning affective states. We are exploring welfare research across all animal science fields which can offer teachings that can be extrapolated and add to our knowledge in the zoo community!

Join our Facebook group 'EAZA Animal Welfare' for updates on the programme, and keep an eye on this website.