Feeding our animals in 2066 – a perspective on future challenges for Zoos & Aquariums

John Cooper, Simon King and Andy Beer (nutritionist – RZSS) were guest speakers at the BIAZA Conference and 50th Anniversary celebrations 6th – 8th June Marwell Wildlife

BIAZA Marwell

 

Abstract:

The presentation gives a wide-ranging review of the issues and challenges that are emerging or could emerge as considerations impacting upon how and where the constituents of diets are sourced. The development of ‘seed intelligence’ at Haith’s exemplifies how the adaptation to and application of technology has produced ‘superclean’ diets for birds, which has reduced their exposure to pathogenic organisms over the past 50 years. The prospect for the next 50 years identifies environmental and quality constraints (amongst others) that will have to be addressed (if not solved completely) and will result in refinements and greater precision to diets across the different animal species conserved and managed in the captive environment. These factors are not unique to Zoos and Aquariums but will also affect domesticated and production species as well.

Bio:

Andy Beer joined RZSS in September 2009 to co-ordinate the nutritional aspects of the collections. Before this, he had been employed since 1982 at Sparsholt College Hampshire where responsibilities included teaching the theory of nutrition and analysis of feedstuffs to HE Animal Management students and setting up an exotic animal collection requiring a Zoo licence. The teaching also included delivering nutritional workshops to keepers in a number of zoos and safari parks as a means of developing understanding in the appropriate feeding of different species within animal collections. Other positions: Director of Zoo Management Studies at Sparsholt College Hampshire which involves running the successful distance learning course for the UK and Irish zoo community the Diploma in the Management of Zoos and Aquariums for the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA). This is now being delivered in overseas centres. Nutritional Advisor to the BIAZA Mammal Working Group & European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) Hippo and Tapir Taxon Advisory Group (TAG). Professor John E Cooper (DTVM, FRCPath, FSB CBiol, FRCVS) John Cooper started life as a keen naturalist, trained as a veterinary surgeon and is now a specialist pathologist with particular interests in wildlife and exotic species, tropical diseases and comparative medicine. He is an Honorary Member of BIAZA and, amongst other appointments, serves as

Professor John E Cooper (DTVM, FRCPath, FSB CBiol, FRCVS) John Cooper started life as a keen naturalist, trained as a veterinary surgeon and is now a specialist pathologist with particular interests in wildlife and exotic species, tropical diseases and comparative medicine. He is an Honorary Member of BIAZA and, amongst other appointments, serves as veterinary advisor to Haith’s, the bird food specialists. With his wife (Margaret Cooper, a non-practising solicitor with special interests in animal and conservation law), he holds several visiting academic appointments. The Coopers have spent nearly twenty years living overseas, especially in Africa, including a period in Rwanda working with the mountain gorillas. In 2009, they returned from nearly seven years at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago where they combined their medical and legal backgrounds in the promotion of an interdisciplinary approach to veterinary and biological education, wildlife conservation and forensic science.

Simon King joined Haith’s in 2011 and has over 15 years’ knowledge of the bird food industry in the UK and overseas markets and – in that time – has managed successful relationships with ASDA, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Pets at Home. He is responsible for research and development at Haith’s PRO and a BIAZA award-winning quality control programme. He has been the guest speaker at UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) export events and seen Haith’s nominated for an HSBC International Award. Haith’s research has been shared with veterinary students at Cambridge University, the BIAZA Bird Working Group and the World Pheasant Association. Simon instigated the ‘synchrony through science’ collaboration with Andy Beer and the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland as the first step to extended ‘seed intelligence’ in 2014.

Maxwell Knight had close ties with zoos and ZSL and during ‘What’s New at the Zoo‘ (1954) he introduced members of the London Zoo staff to talk about the new animals there.

BIAZA is the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums; the professional body representing the best zoos and aquariums in Britain and Ireland. They have over 100 zoo and aquarium members who pride themselves on their excellent animal welfare, education and conservation work.

BIAZA members make significant contributions to field conservation. Together they support over 700 field conservation projects contributing over £10 million per year. Members supply skills, staff and equipment for wildlife conservation, and essential materials for education and awareness programmes in developing countries. They also play an important role in conservation awareness-raising in the UK, support conservation campaigns and facilitate career development of young conservationists.