American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization and the world’s largest certifier of animal welfare, has announced that Georgia Aquarium passed a rigorous third-party audit to achieve certification under its global Humane Conservation program.
Georgia Aquarium, the biggest aquarium in the Western Hemisphere, is among the first five institutions worldwide to earn certification under the ambitious, first-of-its-kind welfare initiative.
American Humane launched Humane Conservation in June as the first-ever certification program singularly dedicated to assuring the humane treatment of animals living in zoos and aquariums.
The Humane Conservation program upholds comprehensive, evidence-based welfare standards, developed by an independent Scientific Advisory Committee comprised of world-renowned leaders in the fields of animal science, animal behavior, animal ethics, and conservation. The rigorous criteria exhaustively verify the many dimensions of animal welfare and well-being, with areas of assessment including: excellent health and housing; positive social interactions within groups of animals, as well as between animals and handlers; safe and stimulating environments, enriched with concern for factors such as appropriate lighting, sound levels, air quality, and thermoregulation; and evidence of thorough preparation and protocols established to prevent and manage medical or operational emergencies.
Adding to the program’s rigor, certification in the Humane Conservation program is contingent upon the results of an independent, third-party audit.
“The certification of Georgia Aquarium under our Humane Conservation program signals the institution’s commitment to voluntarily meeting the highest standards of humane, verifiable, and transparent animal care,” said president and CEO of American Humane, Dr. Robin Ganzert. “American Humane is proud to recognize this world-class institution with its prestigious Humane Conservation seal of approval, demonstrating to the public Georgia Aquarium’s leadership as a responsible, humane steward of the remarkable animals living in its care.”
“Georgia Aquarium is extremely honored and humbled to be recognized with certification by the American Humane and this is another example of our resolute commitment to animal welfare initiatives and practices,” said Dr. Tim Mullican, DVM, senior vice president and chief zoological officer at Georgia Aquarium. “Our responsibility as a world-class aquatic institution is to always support and continue the exceptional care and well-being of all of the animals in our trusted and expert care. Our facilities, practices, and staff all embody that mission and provide optimal conditions where all animals’ needs are met and absolutely come first. In just our ten years of existence we have cared for hundreds of thousands of animals and taken part in over 100 research projects to help us and the scientific community better understand the ocean. Georgia Aquarium is proud of these commitments and to be recognized by the American Humane.”