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International Congress on Zookeeping

The International Congress on Zookeeping (ICZ) is building a network among zookeepers and other professionals in the field of wildlife care and conservation. This exchange of experience and knowledge will improve the professionalism of zookeepers for the benefit of the animals under their care and promote awareness and actions that will contribute to the preservation of wildlife everywhere.

Members of ABWAK will automatically become reciprocal members of ICZ and enjoy reciprocal rights as below:

- ICZ members can attend conferences, workshops, and professional development courses of any of the other Keeper Associations of the ICZ at their member’s rates. 
- ICZ members only pay the members rate for products and publications from the other Keeper Associations.
- A reduction of membership cost to the Snow Leopard Trust.

For more information about ICZ and their events click here.

Participating Associations are: 

   American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK)

   Association of British Wild Animal Keepers (ABWAK)

   Australasian Society of Zoo Keeping (ASZK)

   Asociación Ibérica de Cuidadores de Animales Salvajes (AICAS)

   Association Francophone des Soigneurs Animaliers (AFSA)

   Berufsverband der Zootierpfleger (BdZ)

   Foundation Harpij (De Harpij)

   Zookeepers Association of the Phillippines (ZAP)

   Animal Keepers Association of Africa (AKAA)

Background information on ICZ
The genesis for the first ICZ occurred at a meeting at the AAZK conference, held in Columbus (Ohio, USA) in 2000. Representatives at this meeting were from the seven major regional Keeper associations of professional zookeeping.

As a result of this meeting it was believed that a common conference for zoo keepers from around the world would not only improve the levels of communication between keepers from different regions, but also serve as a basis for supporting the development of zoo keeping as a profession in regions where zoo keeping associations did not currently exist.

The primary objectives for holding a conference for zoo keepers at an international level was to promote the development and application of professional animal welfare and husbandry techniques amongst zoo keepers, which would in turn benefit the wild animals under their care, and contribute to the conservation of wildlife.

The first ICZ was held at Avifauna in the Netherlands between the 4th and 7th October 2003. In the time since the first ICZ the founding representatives from the seven professional keeper associations have agreed to work together in developing the group into a formal association. Over 300 keepers from 27 different countries attended the conference and there were a variety of workshops, paper presentations and other developmental opportunities were included in the programme. In addition, the tours to a number of zoological facilities in the region allowed everybody to view 'behind the scenes' and experience some of the most modern practices in animal husbandry, exhibit design, visitor and education facilities.

After the first congress ICZ's members decided to continue organising an international congress every three years. The second was held in Australia, at the Gold Coast in 2006 and the next one will be in Seattle, USA, in 2009. It was in Australia that the Phillipine Association and the African Association were invited to assist and become members of ICZ. The next aim for ICZ is to develop the International Congress on Zookeeping to make new projects beyond organising the congress.



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