Code of Ethics and Animal Welfare

The Code of Ethics and Animal Welfare was prepared on the basis of the 1999 Code of Ethics and the 2002 Code of Animal Welfare. It was adopted at the 58th Annual Conference of WAZA on 19 November 2003 in San José (Costa Rica).


  • Assisting in achieving the conservation and survival of species must be the aim of all members of the profession. Any actions taken in relation to an individual animal, e.g. euthanasia or contraception, must be undertaken with this higher ideal of species survival in mind, but the welfare of the individual animal should not be compromised.
  • Promote the interests of wildlife conservation, biodiversity and animal welfare to colleagues and to society at large.
  • Co-operate with the wider conservation community including wildlife agencies, conservation organisations and research institutions to assist in maintaining global biodiversity.
  • Co-operate with governments and other appropriate bodies to improve standards of animal welfare and ensure the welfare of all animals in our care.
  • Encourage research and dissemination of achievements and results in appropriate publications and forums.
  • Deal fairly with members in the dissemination of professional information and advice.
  • Promote public education programmes and cultural recreational activities of zoos and aquariums.
  • Work progressively towards achieving all professional guidelines established by the WAZA.

Please click on the below link to download the Code of Ethics and Animal Welfare:

The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) is the global alliance of regional associations, national federations, zoos and aquariums, dedicated to the care and conservation of animals and their habitats around the world.

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