American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization and the world’s largest certifier of animal welfare and well-being, announced the certification of Miami Seaquarium through the American Humane Conservation program. The facility passed rigorous, independent third-party audits to earn the certification.
The American Humane Conservation program is the first certification program solely devoted to helping verify the welfare, well-being and demonstrably humane treatment of animals living in zoos, aquariums, and conservation centers across the globe. The program enforces rigorous, science-based and comprehensive criteria for animal welfare, developed by an independent Scientific Advisory Committee comprised of world-renowned leaders in the fields of animal science, animal behavior, and animal ethics.
“The public is rightly demanding that animals in human care are receiving objectively and verifiably good treatment in conditions that meet scientifically based welfare criteria,” said Dr. Kwane Stewart, chief veterinary officer for the American Humane Conservation program. “We commend Miami Seaquarium for voluntarily opening their doors and undergoing exhaustive examinations including in-depth comprehensive assessments of actual welfare conditions and practices for nearly 1,000 animals and intensive on-site assessments by a team of independent auditors, including a marine mammal expert, a professor and animal psychology and development expert specializing in marine mammals, and a fish and life support systems expert.”
As a result of meeting the many outcomes-based welfare requirements involved by the program, the facility is joining a select group of fewer than two dozen leading zoos and aquariums in the United States and fewer than one-half of one percent of all zoological institutions in the world to have earned this certification.
“We are honored to receive this conservation certification from American Humane,” said Eric Eimstad, General Manager at Miami Seaquarium. “It is gratifying to receive the acknowledgment of such an esteemed organization as American Humane for the treatment and care provided to our animals by our team of animal care professionals and veterinarians.”
The American Humane Conservation program’s extensive criteria exhaustively verify the many dimensions of animal welfare and well-being, with areas of evaluation including: excellent health, positive social interactions within groups of animals, as well as between animals and handlers; safe environments, appropriate air and water quality, lighting, sound levels, thermoregulation, and evidence of thorough preparation and protocols established to prevent and manage medical or operational emergencies.
“We believe all animals, including those being cared for in zoological facilities and conservation parks, are entitled to humane treatment,” said Dr. Stewart. “This program helps ensure the welfare of amazing, threatened and disappearing species around the globe and we think that it is a good thing that more and more zoological institutions are allowing independent humane groups to scrutinize their operations and verify with objective measures the level of care their animals are provided. This is good for the public, necessary for the organization being audited so they can demonstrate their commitment to proper welfare or raise their standards if they fall short, and most of all, good for the remarkable and endangered creatures we all want to preserve.”