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IAAPA's Statement of Support for the Barcelona Zoo


Ayuntament de Barcelona
Mayor Ada Colau
Plaza de Sant Jaume, 1
08002 Barcelona

March 13, 2019

Dear Mayor Colau:

IAAPA, the global association for the attractions industry, supports accredited facilities around the world with animals in their professional care. Well-managed zoos and aquariums provide up close and personal experiences for people and can help them develop an appreciation and respect for animals and the natural world.

Zoos and aquariums play a critical role in conservation of endangered species, education, research, and serving the communities in which they operate. IAAPA supports zoos and aquariums that are accredited and follow best-practice standards for the care and well-being of animals and staff members. IAAPA’s zoo and aquarium members worldwide are dedicated to professionally caring for thousands of animals, as they inspire millions of visitors.

Through ongoing research, zoos and aquariums provide critical contributions to wildlife conservation efforts around the world. The knowledge and expertise of the husbandry, veterinary, and scientific zoological teams at such facilities is essential in helping manage threatened and endangered species in the wild at a time of rapid global change.

IAAPA believes people should have the opportunity to choose to visit well-managed zoological facilities. Zoos and aquariums provide people with the opportunity to have contact with animals and the natural world, something especially important for those who live in cities and urban surroundings. Such visits provide once-in-a-lifetime encounters and memories that leave a lasting impression on guests of all ages. They help inspire them to act and make efforts to preserve and conserve our natural resources.

IAAPA is proud to stand with the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA), the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and American Humane in support of zoos and aquariums that are focused on the welfare of animals. 

As an association with zoo and aquarium members, IAAPA is disappointed by the recent decision by the City of Barcelona to scale back the operation of, and potentially close, the Barcelona Zoo, which makes important contributions to its community and to conservation of endangered species in the wild. We hope the City will     re-examine its decision and will partner with respected associations focused on animals in professional care for input and guidance.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Hal Signature
Hal McEvoy
President and CEO

cc: Deputy Mayor Janet Sanz
David Williams-Mitchell, European Association of Zoos and Aquaria