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Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium Achieves Humane Certification for Animal Welfare

American Humane Announces Certification through its Humane Conservation™ Program for Zoos and Aquariums


Photo by ©Paul A. Selvaggio
Photo by ©Paul A. Selvaggio

Today, American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization and the world’s largest certifier of animal welfare, announced that the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium achieved certification through its global American Humane Conservation TM program for animal welfare. The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium passed a rigorous third-party audit to earn the prestigious American Humane Conservation seal of approval, and is now among an elite group of only eight certified institutions worldwide.

American Humane launched the American Humane Conservation program in June as the world’s first-ever certification devoted solely to verifying the humane treatment of animals living in zoos, aquariums, and conservation centers across the globe. American Humane Conservation enforces rigorous, evidence-based standards of comprehensive animal welfare, developed by an independent Scientific Advisory Committee of world-renowned leaders in the fields of animal science, animal behavior, animal ethics, and conservation.

These extensive criteria exhaustively consider 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, 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, compliance with the exacting Humane Conservation standards is verified through independent, third-party audits.  

You can read more about American Humane Conservation here.

“American Humane is thrilled to award our American Humane Conservation seal of approval to the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, which is now one of only four certified institutions in the United States,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane. “The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium passed the rigorous, third-party welfare auditing required to earn American Humane Conservation certification, demonstrating the institution’s commitment to the highest humane standards of verifiable, transparent animal care.”

 “We are thrilled and extremely honored to receive certification by American Humane,” said Dr. Barbara Baker, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. “It was one of the most comprehensive and thorough inspections that I have experienced in my 26 years here at the zoo. The American Humane certification highlights our strong commitment to ensuring our 9,000 individual animals are well taken care of in all aspects, including exhibits, enrichment, and veterinary care. Most importantly it demonstrates the continuous and trusting relationships that our keepers share with the animals and their dedication to the job every day.”

 “I would like to congratulate the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium on receiving this prestigious award,” said Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto. “I commend Dr. Baker and the entire staff for continuing to provide the highest standards of animal care and humane treatment.”

 American Humane is the country’s first national humane organization.

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