Brookfield Zoo is the first zoo in the world to receive humane certification from American Humane Association for the treatment of its animals.
Teamsters Local 727 represents nearly 300 zookeepers, groundskeepers and other workers at Brookfield Zoo.
“As disappearing habitats and other human-induced pressures threaten species in the wild, the care we provide to the animals at Brookfield Zoo becomes of critical importance,” said Stuart D. Strahl, Ph.D., President and CEO of the Chicago Zoological Society, which manages Brookfield Zoo. “We have a responsibility to not only maintain the health and well-being of the animals in our care but to utilize our teaching hospital and scientific research programs to explore innovative, cutting-edge techniques to address animal welfare questions. Our published findings contribute to the sustainability of wildlife populations and are used to engage our 2.2 million guests and 120,000 member families in the practice of caring for animals. We are honored to be recognized with this American Humane Association certification as it validates our commitment to advancing the science of animal-directed care.”
Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium also received the certification.
Only 2.3 percent of the world’s zoos and aquariums hold an accreditation, and Brookfield Zoo and Shedd Aquarium are among the first four institutions to pass the American Humane Association’s rigorous, third-party Humane Conservation™ animal welfare audit and earn the Humane Certified™ seal.
“We applaud these organizations for their excellent work and stewardship of the magnificent animals in their care,” said Dr. Kwane Stewart, chief veterinary officer for the American Humane Association Humane Conservation program. “These world-class facilities both stepped forward voluntarily to undergo our comprehensive, science-based auditing and have served as leaders in the field, demonstrating to the public their commitment to providing a high degree of welfare to the animals with whom they work.”
American Humane Association, which has been at the forefront of virtually every major advance in the protection of animals over the past 140 years, has developed the first-ever independent, scientific and evidence-based third-party humane certification program focusing solely on the well-being of the animals living in these institutions. The program’s comprehensive standards were created by an independent Scientific Advisory Committee — made up of the most well-respected names in conservation, animal welfare and animal ethics — and cover more than 30 areas, including health, housing, social interactions, space, humane interactions, environmental quality, physiology, sound levels, treatment protocols, activity levels of the animals and more.
“The impact and bond formed between people seeing and experiencing real animals is unparalleled, helping create new generations of animal advocates and others who understand that our unique, interconnectedness is mutually beneficial to people, animals and the world we share,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane Association. “We have a moral obligation to protect these magnificent animals, and zoos and aquariums are vital ambassadors for this effort. People won’t protect what they don’t love. And they can’t love what they don’t know. This new Humane Conservation program will help ensure not only that the animals in the world’s zoos and aquariums are well-cared-for, but that new generations of animal lovers are cultivated and dedicated to the preservation of the many remarkable creatures with whom we share the Earth.”