International Animal Welfare Symposium
Giraffe calf

Zoos and Aquariums as Welfare Centres: Ethical Dimensions and Global Commitment

May 4 - 6, 2017

Invitation-only Symposium

The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) and the Detroit Zoological Society’s Center for Zoo Animal Welfare and Ethics (CZAW) are convening leaders in the fields of animal welfare and conservation to join us for the CZAW’s fourth International Animal Welfare Symposium.

Zoos and aquariums play important roles in the conservation of species. They are also centres of animal welfare that focus on individuals, not just species. Within a complex framework that includes and balances sometimes conflicting priorities for individuals (welfare) and for populations (conservation), there is a need for solid science, strong guiding principles and policy, and a clear ethical foundation.

The invitation-only three-day symposium will include presentations and facilitated discussion focusing on processes to safeguard the well-being of animals and fundamental animal welfare policy for zoos and aquariums developed to ensure all animals are able to thrive. Specific topics will include animal welfare-based accreditation, the use of animals in visitor interactions and welfare aspects of population management.

This symposium is targeted at leaders in all regionally and internationally accredited zoos and aquariums, and experts (including academics) in animal care, animal welfare, animal ethics, animal law, wildlife conservation and animal protection. The goal is to create a strong worldwide foundation based on values and principles that further advances the fields of zoo and aquarium animal welfare (and conservation) science and policy.

Public Lectures

In addition to the invitation-only event, the Center for Zoo Animal Welfare and Ethics will be hosting four public evening lectures at the Detroit Zoo’s Ford Education Center.  The lecture series will feature a world-renowned expert each evening: Carl Safina, Ph.D., Temple Grandin, Ph.D., Marc Bekoff, Ph.D. and Wayne Pacelle. For more information, please visit the events page at

Due to limited seating, tickets must be reserved in advance. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at All proceeds will benefit the Detroit Zoological Society’s Center for Zoo Animal Welfare.