This badge signifies completion of the course Money Talks!- The Economic Value of Zoo Animal Training by Jim Mackie of the Zoological Society of London.
There is an increasing amount of evidence to demonstrate that science-based training has direct benefits to animals. We know that all animal training should provide a net welfare benefit to the individual, but there are other, secondary reasons to train animals. These include education programs, human health and safety and conservation research. But have you ever considered that training your animals could save your zoo money? Or even provide income and free publicity?
Using many examples from ZSL’s extensive portfolio of training programs, the presentation takes an in depth look at how training can: save medical care costs by replacing anesthesia or reducing the amount of anesthetic drugs; provide income streams for commercial events such as VIP experiences and PR; minimize the staff resources needed for tasks such as internal animal moves and exports.
We should not need to justify the use of animal training in our zoos by identifying financial benefits – the welfare impacts should be enough – but it can be useful when seeking support to establish a new training program at your zoo.