Bernard E. Rollin, PhD

University Distinguished Professor, Colorado State University

Beginning in the 1970s, society became increasingly aware of the ethical issues arising in animal use. Matters never even considered in the past have achieved major prominence. These issues range from the use of animals in food production and scientific research to their use in entertainment. American Humane pioneered assuring the well-being of animals used in cinema production. Now the organization is turning its attention to animals kept in zoos and aquaria, an area that has again elicited major social concern. The auditing standards developed by American Humane represent a robust and salubrious beginning to regulating these operations.

Joe M. Howell, DVM

Past President and Chairman of Board, American Veterinary Medical Association, and Current President, Western Veterinary Conference

I endorse American Humane’s Humane Conservation certification program. This is entirely aligned with the veterinary profession’s mission to be certain that animals used for the purposes of benefitting animalkind and humankind are treated with highest levels of humane welfare care and health care. No entity has done more to reduce suffering and inhumane treatment or prevent and treat disease than the veterinary profession and American Humane.

James F. Peddie, DVM

Distinguished Faculty Chair and Staff Veterinarian, Retired Exotic Animal Training and Management (EATM) Program, Moorpark College

Having had a career spanning 50+ years which included being a veterinarian who treated all species of animals, an educator for a nationally known program which focused on the humane care of all species of animals and caring for all species of animals used by the entertainment industry, I have observed a major shift in public opinion regarding animal welfare. Welfare standards for pets, livestock and other farm animals have kept pace with these societal changes, but one major group of animals has until now not been formally addressed. These are the animals kept for public display. With the introduction of the American Humane Humane Conservation program, a science-based platform for the systematic evaluation of an animal’s welfare from the animal’s perspective now exists. This program was developed utilizing an international pool of talent including animal scientists, zoo and aquarium professionals, veterinarians, behaviorists and ethicists. The results of their efforts can be applied to any facility housing non-domestic animal life. The sole intent of this cornerstone program is to improve the care of animal life and thereby assure the public that this facility and its staff has been evaluated by a third party and has been graded with respect to the welfare needs of it’s animal collection. I fully and completely support this American Humane program and applaud this organization’s courage and determination to develop and offer this flagship program.

Linda Reeve Peddie, DVM

Kudos to American Humane for initiating a program to assure the well-being of animals in managed-care conservation venues. In private practice my husband and I provided veterinary care for animals ranging from gerbils to elephants. We have been able to offer our children and grandchildren unique opportunities to interact with a myriad of species. The American Humane Humane Conservation program is designed to assure future generations that the animals they care about are experiencing good welfare in their respective zoos and aquariums.

Barbara Baker, DVM

President & CEO, Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium

I applaud American Humane for this tremendous program to certify the humane treatment of animals in our zoos and aquariums nationwide. This unique program is especially exciting as accreditation programs run by membership organizations are peer-reviewed and can often be influenced by politics and favoritism. The American Humane program is unique in that it offers the first third-party, independent review and certification. This is definitely needed in our industry, as we all work to improve the level of care of animals.

Stuart D. Strahl, PhD

President and CEO, Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo

The Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo fully endorses the American Humane Humane Conservation program. The world’s zoos and aquariums lead the efforts to develop the highest standards of welfare for animals under professional care through science based research. Having the most honored and prestigious humane organization in the world act independently to evaluate and certify those efforts and results will tremendously aid in bringing about a renewed confidence by the public in our work and relevancy as centers of education and conservation.

David R. Blasko

Director of Animal Care, The Mirage Hotel and Casino

I have been associated with domestic and exotic animals since the 1960’s and professionally for the past 45 years. I am continually impressed by the commitment of the American Humane and their dedication to ensure the humane treatment of animals in the care of humans. Their staff is talented, passionate and absolutely dedicated to providing the highest levels of science-based animal management in the design of their certification programs. I express my respect and gratitude to American Humane for their leadership and scientific approach in the development of this new Humane Conservation initiative for animals in the world’s zoos and centers of conservation.

John Nightingale, PhD

President and CEO, Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre

American Humane is the most highly regarded and longest-running animal welfare organization in North America. Its leadership and oversight in protecting the health and welfare of animals is increasingly important to the conservation of species and natural ecosystems. There has never been a time when humans have needed to connect more deeply to animals, to care and to take steps to protect species at risk. Established with a stringent set of science-based standards, the Humane Conservation certification upholds those who bear its name to the highest level of animal welfare in the continent.

Kathleen Dezio

President & CEO, Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks & Aquariums

Every animal in a zoo, aquarium or marine park deserves humane treatment and care. American Humane’s exciting Humane Conservation Initiative, with its independent audits, science- and evidence-based standards, and the organization’s more than a century of experience provides added assurance of the humane treatment and welfare of animals in zoological settings throughout the world.

Tracy Romano, PhD

Chief Scientist & Vice President of Research, Mystic Aquarium

“The American Humane Humane Conservation certification program ensures the highest standards of animal welfare for animals in professional care at zoos and aquariums. This lays the foundation for continued and future efforts for zoos and aquariums to learn as much about the animals in their care as possible through research in order to help conserve species in the wild, and to educate and engage the public in conservation of species and their habitats.

Xavier Manteca, PhD

Professor, School of Veterinary Science, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain

I fully endorse the American Humane Humane Conservation program. Animal welfare should be a priority for modern zoos and aquaria, and the American Humane program, which is based on science and best practice, will make an important contribution to develop and implement animal welfare standards in zoological institutions. This will in turn help them realize their education and conservation roles.

Kathleen Dudzinski, PhD

Director, Dolphin Communication Project

Zoos and aquaria offer people the opportunity to meet a variety of animals up close and personal. These animals are true ambassadors for their species in nature. Human beings will only protect what they love, and they will only love what they know. They will only know what they are taught: Zoos and aquaria teach people about animals, their needs and the need for their conservation. The fact that American Humane is willing to champion a program to assess the welfare of animals who call zoos and aquaria home is a testament to the importance of these facilities and their required survival.

David S. Miller, DVM, PhD, DACZM


The new Humane Conservation program is a unique and bold initiative for ensuring animal welfare in zoological institutions. This program will honor institutions that consider animal welfare and humane practices as a fundamental part of their daily operations and existence, while raising the bar of expectations for all zoological institutions. Wildlife and the humans who care for them will inevitably benefit from this program and the humane standards that it establishes.

Daniel García Párraga, DVM, DECAAH, DECZM

Director of Animal Health, Oceanogràfic Valencia

I think it is fantastic news that American Humane, one of the most highly recognized animal welfare advocates in the world, has launched the Humane Conservation certification program. As Mahatma Gandhi said, ‘The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated,’ and it is great news that the American Humane has decided to support another great step forward with this program and provide tools to recognize excellence and the best animal care standards in selected zoos and aquaria. This new animal welfare certification audit is dedicated to verifying humane and ethical treatment for all animals maintained in zoos and aquaria. American Humane’s commitment to fighting for animals and ensuring professional care for animals is a welcome addition to our existing efforts. American Humane will provide tools to evaluate and assess the best animal care practices and procedures and we are grateful for their efforts and commitment to develop this incredibly important initiative. A key component of this new accreditation program is a focus on the well-being of each individual rather than other indirect indicators of welfare. We believe in any case, it is critical to use scientifically validated criteria to determine animal welfare rather than impressions or opinion. The professionals involved in this new Humane Conservation Scientific Advisory Committee are animal care experts putting all together over 500 years of experience in the zoo and aquarium fields.

Jim McBain, DVM

Veterinarian Consultant

I wholeheartedly endorse the American Humane’s Humane Conservation certification program. This program will assure the humane treatment and welfare of animals living in our zoos and aquaria.

Grey Stafford, PhD

President of the International Marine Animal Trainers’ Association, and author of the book on reward-based training: ZOOmility: Keeper Tales of Training with Positive Reinforcement

American Humane’s Humane Conservation certification audit is the first professional assessment of its kind to evaluate the welfare of zoological species from the perspective of the animals. As such, this evidence- based, landmark program complements other well-established, highly regarded, and science-based professional accreditation programs by the leading trade associations representing zoological facilities and animal care and training professionals alike.

Tom Otten

Principal, Reef Experience, LLC

I am pleased to wholeheartedly endorse American Humane’s Humane Conservation certification program for zoos and aquariums. Providing an objective third-party auditing program from an organization with the long history of the protection of animals as the American Humane has can only help position zoos and aquariums for the future.

Rodrigo Constandse Córdova

President, AMHMAR / Mexican Association of Habitats for the Protection and Interaction with Marine Mammals

Today, more than ever, it has become clearly evident that humanity must turn its knowledge and resources to a better and deeper understanding and care of our environment and the species that inhabit this unique and wonderful planet we call home. For decades zoos and aquariums and the people behind them have dedicated their lives to conservation, research and education, and together with governments and citizens from all parts of the world, these experts must lead the way towards sustainability in an ever-evolving and development-driven society. The Humane Certified program of American Humane is a breakthrough in the unbreakable and developing bond that has and will always exist between animals and human beings. The AMHMAR proudly supports these efforts and achievements by American Humane and all the professional and ethical people and institutions behind the program.