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Mystic Aquarium Achieves Humane Certification for Animal Welfare

American Humane Announces Certification through Worldwide American Humane Conservation Program for Zoos and Aquariums

MYSTIC, CONNECTICUT, January 5, 2017image1

Today, American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization and the world’s largest certifier of animal welfare and well-being, announced that Mystic Aquarium achieved certification by the American Humane Conservation program, joining an elite group of fewer than a dozen Humane Certified™ institutions worldwide.

The American Humane Conservation program is the first-ever certification program singularly dedicated to helping ensure the well-being and humane treatment of animals living in the world’s zoos and aquariums. The program uses 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 certification of Mystic Aquarium by the American Humane Conservation program shows the institution’s commitment to meeting the highest standards of humane, verifiable, and transparent animal care,” said American Humane President and CEO Dr. Robin Ganzert. “American Humane is proud to recognize this world-class institution with its prestigious Humane Certified seal of approval, demonstrating to the public Mystic Aquarium’s leadership as a responsible, humane steward of the remarkable animals living in its care.”

“We are incredibly proud to be among the first institutions to receive this prestigious certification,” said Dr. Stephen M. Coan, President and CEO at Mystic Aquarium. “Animal welfare has always been and will continue to be at the forefront of what we do here at Mystic Aquarium.”

“The recognition of our standards by such an esteemed organization and its animal welfare professionals is not only meaningful but also validation of our vocation,” added Larry Rivarde, Senior Vice President of Zoological Operations at Mystic Aquarium.

The American Humane Conservation program’s rigorous criteria exhaustively verifies the many dimensions of animal 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.

For added rigor, Mystic Aquarium’s compliance with the American Humane Conservation standards was verified through an exhaustive audit.

“This certification is acknowledgement of the incredible passion shared by our team of animal care professionals and their ongoing and unwavering dedication to the animals in our care,” said Laurie Macha, Mystic Aquarium’s Curator of Marine Mammals and Birds. “We are acutely aware that it is a privilege to work with, care for and protect these animals.”

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

About Mystic Aquarium
Mystic Aquarium, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, is counted among the nation’s leading aquariums with more than 300 species and an extensive collection of marine mammals, including New England’s only belugas. Mystic Aquarium has been a pioneer in offering guests a variety of up close encounters with a wide range of marine animals. The mission of Mystic Aquarium is to inspire people to care for and protect our ocean planet through conservation, education and research. Mystic Aquarium receives major support from The Coca-Cola Company, Foxwoods Resort Casino, Resorts World Sentosa and United Technologies Corporation. Learn more at

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