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American Humane Conservation Certification Achieved by SeaWorld

WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, May 7, 2018 — 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 SeaWorld’s parks in San Antonio, San Diego, and Orlando, including SeaWorld Orlando, Discovery Cove and Aquatica, through the American Humane Conservation program. The parks passed rigorous and lengthy third-party audits to join fewer than two dozen institutions in the United States in earning the certification.

The American Humane Conservation program is the first certification program solely devoted to helping verify the welfare, well-being and objectively good 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 at American Humane. “We commend SeaWorld for voluntarily opening their doors and undergoing exhaustive examinations including in-depth comprehensive assessments of actual animal welfare conditions and practices for more than 70,000 animals and intensive on-site assessments by multiple teams of independent auditors over a period of eight and a half months. As a result of meeting the many outcomes-based welfare requirements involved by the program, these parks are joining a select group of fewer than two dozen leading U.S. institutions to qualify for this certification.”

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 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.

For added rigor, the SeaWorld parks’ compliance with the American Humane Conservation standards was verified through independent audits.

“We believe 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. “This program helps ensure the welfare of millions of animals and we think that it is a good thing that more and more zoological institutions are allowing an independent humane group to scrutinize their operations and verify with objective measures the level of care they 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.”

You can read more about the American Humane Conservation program here:

About American Humane
Founded in 1877, American Humane is the country’s first national humane organization. For more information about American Humane, please visit

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