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Marineland ensures the health and well-being of the animals it houses through the skills of its staff, the quality of its facilities and compliance with the latest national and international animal standards, such as the World Zoo Charter for Animal Welfare.
Animal wellbeing is a complex concept. The French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES) gives the following definition "An animal's wellbeing is the positive mental and physical state associated with the fulfilment of its physiological and behavioural needs and expectations. This state varies according to the animal's perception of the situation."
An animal's wellbeing is, therefore, a state that will vary according to the animal's physiological state, its behaviour and its environment. Awareness of the behaviour of each species and individual animal allows the teams to spot the slightest behavioural change and evaluate the cause. The animal keepers pay close attention to each animal's behaviour and alert the veterinary team when required (e.g. decrease in appetite, energy, social interaction, etc.). The veterinary team then ensures appropriate health monitoring and care as necessary. The roles of the animal keepers and the veterinarians is totally complementary.
Animal wellbeing is evaluated scientifically and objectively by factual criteria. Marineland ensures constant monitoring of these scientific indicators with an evaluation of animal wellbeing according to i.e. 28 precise criteria for the dolphins in the following areas: the health and behaviour of individuals, the quality of the environment and potential stress factors.
Marineland's animal teams implement enrichment programmes for each animal in order to develop behaviours considered positive for it (play, exploration, encouragement, etc.) and reduce those considered negative. The enrichment programmes are varied, adapted to each species and the changes in behaviour make it possible to measure and then validate the effectiveness of these programmes.
Find out more about Marineland's animal keepers and vets: