“May I quote you on that?” With increasing national interest in animal welfare issues, zoo and aquarium animal health professionals are finding themselves in increasing demand to talk publicly about veterinary care and well-being of animals in their facilities. Institutions are calling on their veterinarians to be key spokespersons regarding animal care and treatment. This includes interviews with media that increasingly scrutinize the welfare of zoo and aquarium animals, in part due to targeted national campaigns by organizations that call for removing some species from public display in zoos and aquariums.
Today’s zoo veterinarians find themselves talking with the media about topics that were previously not discussed, including animal deaths, medical treatment procedures, and individual animal’s quality of life. This presentation will analyze this new trend and why it is critical to the future of the public display community that zoo and aquarium veterinarians are prepared to fill the important role as the expert voice in animal care.