WAZA Code of Ethics

The WAZA Code of Ethics, was approved by the WAZA membership at the 78th Annual General Assembly on 12 October 2023 in San Diego, United States. The new Code of Ethics provides a comprehensive ethical framework for WAZA and its members to follow. This is based on four foundational documents that guide WAZA’s stance on various aspects of its operations, namely, WAZA’s Animal Welfare, Conservation, Sustainability and Conservation Education Strategies. The Code emphasises the importance of upholding high ethical standards in all endeavours, including animal welfare, conservation, environmental sustainability, education, research, business practices and human relations.

Periodic reviews of the WAZA Code of Ethics are planned, in order to ensure that it is aligned with evolving cultural, ethical, scientific and regulatory trends. WAZA members in all categories must comply with the WAZA Code of Ethics. 

WAZA adopted its first Code of Ethics in 1999, which laid the foundation for the 2002 Code of Ethics and Animal Welfare, officially ratified during the 58th Annual Conference of WAZA on November 19, 2003, in San José, Costa Rica.

Seeing the need to develop a WAZA Code of Ethics that is in harmony with evolving cultural, ethical, scientific, and regulatory trends, the 2023 WAZA Code of Ethics was developed and adopted by WAZA Members on 12 October 2023 at the 78th Annual General Assembly in San Diego, United States.

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.

WAZA is a member of the following organisations:
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