Partnership initiatives center upon important relationships of light and animal welfare, specifically aimed at improving the conditions of animal care in wild animal facilities such as zoos, aquariums and wildlife centres. The partnership seeks to improve important work in community health, wildlife conservation and environmental sustainability, by prioritizing animal welfare.
Expanding upon Wild Welfare’s four cornerstone areas of work, which include creating welfare partnerships that can promote long-term animal welfare improvements for wild animals in human care, conducting animal welfare training, assessments and research and advancing wild animal legislation worldwide, the Wild Welfare/ZLI partnership stresses data-based science, risk management, and advocates a growing ‘animal-welfare’ driven approach to environmental sustainability.
Seeking to perpetually improve best practices, ZLI and Wild Welfare each recognize the important roles that managed care facilities such as accredited zoos and aquariums serve in caring for animals and ecosystems. Adopting the Five Domains Model of Animal Welfare, and stressing the need to explore positive outcomes according to biologically relevant terms, the collaboration anticipates future partnerships with managed care facilities globally to be ongoing and proactive. With enormous audiences and outreach potential, zoos and aquariums offer a unique opportunity to address community health, safety, and welfare issues related to artificial lighting (ALAN). Such issues span each of the Five Domains, directly impacting seemingly remote challenges of nutrition, health, environment, while impacting behavior and so hampering positive mental wellness of animals. Adopting a positive approach to animal welfare, in recognition both of the value of every life as well as the crucial support role that individual animals play for human community well-being, serves to initiate action on an overlooked but crucial area of climate change mitigation and sustainability.
“Although the importance of natural light for biological and ecological function is widely accepted and understood within the scientific community”, stated ZLI Founder Dr. James Karl Fischer PhD, “the science hasn’t been acted upon adequately. “This means that animals, whether in a zoo setting or in the wild, are subjected to conditions that reduce or deny their opportunity to live and live to the fullest, in the manners in which they evolved. Essentially, the restrictions that artificial light imposes on animals need to be accounted for. This means scientifically monitoring light regularly, and including such data in decisions related to care, conservation and development. “We are thrilled to partner with Wild Welfare, a seminal and global leader in managed care wild animal welfare initiatives, as care for animals comes first in deciding how to use the facts that science presents for the benefit of all.”