WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, March 30, 2022 — American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization and the world’s largest certifier of animal welfare practices, today announced that The Florida Aquarium earned the American Humane Certified™ seal, demonstrating the exceptional welfare and treatment provided to the animals in its care. The aquarium passed rigorous, expert third-party audits to join a growing number of leading zoological institutions that have earned the American Humane Certified™ designation.
“All animals, including those being cared for in our zoos, aquariums and conservation parks, are entitled to humane treatment,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane. “The Humane Certified seal of approval assures zoo and aquarium visitors that the facility meets the highest standards of animal care. Animals enrich our planet, and our lives, and humanity has a moral obligation to treat them with the respect they deserve. We commend The Florida Aquarium for this great achievement.”
The Humane Conservation™ program is the first certification effort solely dedicated to helping verify the welfare 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 standards provide verification of good practices at deserving zoos and aquariums, and an assurance to visitors that the institution they are visiting is worthy of their support.
American Humane’s certification process exhaustively verifies the many dimensions of animal welfare, with areas of evaluation including: excellent health and housing; positive social interactions within groups of animals, as well as between animals and handlers; safe and stimulating environments 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.
“Animal care and welfare is our number one priority here at The Florida Aquarium,” said Tim Binder, senior vice president of animal care and health. “Becoming American Humane Certified™ reflects the commitment we have, throughout our organization, to ensure the animals in our care are provided the best care and welfare possible. This certification is a vital cornerstone in supporting our strategic vision as a conservation-based aquarium dedicated to protecting species from extinction, educating the public and exemplifying the highest levels of animal care and welfare. Being Humane Certified is a testament to the hard work, dedication and compassion of our care professionals.”
The Florida Aquarium provides visitors the opportunity to experience a wide variety of aquatic and terrestrial animals with the goal of building awareness and inspiring action for species and habitat conservation. The aquarium leads two comprehensive conservation programs targeted at saving species from extinction.
Coral reefs play a critically important role in the health of marine ecosystems, and The Florida Aquarium is dedicated to caring for threatened species of coral and leading initiatives that will help restore the Florida Reef Tract. The Coral Conservation Program is responsible for several ground-breaking, globally recognized advancements to increase the genetic diversity of coral offspring, conduct vital health research to improve coral care and husbandry techniques, and scale up coral propagation rates.
In addition, The Florida Aquarium is actively engaged in sea turtle rehabilitation efforts, extensive visitor and community education and outreach as well as conservation platforms; all to advance sea turtle protection. Over a 20-year period since the program’s inception, the Aquarium received 200 sea turtles, and while not all could be deemed releasable due to the nature of their injuries or illnesses, 180 were successfully released. In 2019, the facility opened its state-of-the-art Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Center which managed the care of 21 sea turtles in the first year alone.
“It is the critical efforts of American Humane Certified™ zoos and aquariums that can be seen as nature’s last arks of hope in preserving the rich legacy of life on Earth,” said Dr. Ganzert. “We are grateful to the conservation researchers, biologists and educators at The Florida Aquarium who are helping to protect and restore our planet and its magnificent species.”
Learn more about Humane Conservation™ at www.humaneconservation.org.
ABOUT AMERICAN HUMANE
American Humane is the country’s first national humane organization. Founded in 1877, American Humane is committed to ensuring the safety, welfare and well-being of animals, and our leadership programs are first to serve in promoting and nurturing the bonds between animals and people. For more information or to support our work, please visit www.americanhumane.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
ABOUT THE FLORIDA AQUARIUM
The Florida Aquarium actively participates in and promotes stewardship of the natural environment as part of our mission of conservation. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, The Florida Aquarium provides an opportunity for visitors to experience a wide variety of aquatic and terrestrial animals, explore complex ecosystems, engage with interactive and informational exhibits and search for wild dolphins in Tampa Bay. More than a must-see attraction, The Florida Aquarium is working to protect and restore our blue planet through conservation efforts that include ground-breaking research and rescue efforts that help restore Florida’s coral and sea turtle populations. To learn more, follow us on social media at @floridaaquarium and visit www.flaquarium.org.