Responsible management of our living collection is essential for us to realise our vision of a world-class zoological institution in conservation, education and inspiring behaviour change. The Institutional Collection Plan (ICP) is the overarching strategy that guides all acquisitions. From time to time, new specimens may need to be acquired, either for genetic sustainability or to phase in new species that fit the ICP. In accordance with the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums Resolution 29.1, all our animal acquisitions are conducted legally, ethically and sustainably.

The clear majority of our acquisitions are animals born or hatched under human care, usually as part of an exchange, donation (from other zoological institutions, governmental agencies, NGOs) or breeding loan. Many of our animals are also part of collaborative global managed programmes, which ensure species sustainability and genetic integrity. Approval must first be sought from the relevant programme coordinators before new specimens can be acquired.

This policy outlines the procedure and ethics that Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) and its subsidiary institutions: Jurong Bird Park (JBP), Night Safari (NS) and Singapore Zoo (SZ) will adhere to in its undertakings for acquisition of specimens for its animal collection.

Relocation of animals shall conform to all applicable international conventions and agreements, and to national laws.

Animals may be relocated by sale, exchange, loan or gift to reputable zoological institutions approved by the Group Chief Executive Officer (WRS).

Prior to approval, all recipient institutions must return a completed set of forms “REQUEST BY AN ORGANISATION TO RECEIVE ANIMALS FROM WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE” together with supporting documents, plans and diagrams.

Attempts shall be made to assure WRS institutions that recipient institutions will provide proper care and housing for the animals to be relocated. If perceived deficiencies exist, they shall be corrected to the satisfaction of WRS institutions prior to the movement of the animals.

For transactions arranged through new animal brokers, a complete CV of the contact person, a company profile and a list of references comprising zoological institutions, with which this dealer has undertaken transactions, should be submitted to WRS institutions for review and approval.

No dealings will be undertaken with agents having known previous local, state, federal or international convictions, or of known ill repute. No animal will be released to private individuals, circuses, organisations dealing in similar forms of entertainment, or parties that allow trophy hunting of the animal.

No animal will be released to institutions that will use the animal for medical purposes or invasive research.

CITES Appendix I animals will not be sold for profit but offered as gifts or on a long-term breeding loan to reputable zoological institutions that contact WRS directly with such a request.

All animals leaving WRS institutions will be examined by veterinarians and necessary health certificates issued and endorsed.

WRS believes that animal shows/contact are among the most valuable, unforgettable and educational experiences that visitors can enjoy while visiting WRS. The animal shows/contact will mainly focus on fostering, educating and conveying conservation awareness of endangered species of fauna and flora.

While all shows/contact will have an entertainment component, which is important in gaining the attention of the general public, ultimately they should convey love and respect for animals as well as a strong biodiversity conservation message.

Behaviour featured in animal shows, contact and training will be based on the natural behaviour of the species involved and their spontaneous interaction with humans. The dressing up of animals or making the animals perform unnatural acts that demean them will be strictly prohibited.

Animal welfare will be given the highest priority in all shows, contact and training, strictly following the five basic principles of animal welfare: freedom from hunger and thirst; freedom from thermal and physical discomfort; freedom from pain, disease or injury; freedom to express normal behaviour; freedom from fear and distress.

Safety of visitors, animals and staff will be given the highest priority in all shows, contact and training, strictly following the existing WRS SOP protocol.

All animals involved in shows, contact and training will be screened annually for communicable zoonotic diseases. All animal caretakers who are involved in shows/contact and training will be screened annually for communicable diseases (eg. TB, viral hepatitis, parasitic diseases, etc.). Staff and visitors with visible signs of illness (eg. cold, flu, etc) will be prevented from working or approaching the animals.

Animals that are used in shows, contact and training will be returned to their social groups or to other companion animals where applicable. Animals should not be exhausted and will not be used in shows/contact and training lasting more than 45 minutes in a single session.

Animals will not be removed prematurely from their mothers for the purpose of shows, contact and training.

Animals that are heavily imprinted on humans and that do not have the desire to socialise with their own species will be kept in suitable enclosures. Only adequately trained staff who maintain high standards of animal welfare and ethics will be allowed to handle animals that are used in shows, contact and training.

Positive reinforcements will be used to train/condition animals that are used in shows, contact and training. Animals cannot be cruelly punished (including punching, beating, kicking, slapping and other bodily harm) and disciplined for cooperation in animal shows, contact and training. Strict disciplinary action including suspension and termination will be enforced on staff who violate this policy. Operant conditioning will be developed and used as much as possible.

Shows, contact and training will be mainly done in the premises of WRS facilities. However, occasional animal appearances outside WRS facilities may be permitted with the approval of senior management and the relevant government authorities, without compromising the well-being of the animals.

The Animal Welfare & Ethics Committee or an expert appointed will review shows, contact and training annually as well as evaluate the physical and psychological wellbeing of all animals involved. Any animals that are found unsuitable for shows, contact and training will be immediately relocated to their own social group to other companion animals or a suitable retirement facility to ensure that they receive proper professional care.

This policy outlines the procedure and ethics that Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) and its subsidiary institutions: Jurong Bird Park (JBP), Night Safari (NS), River Safari (RS) and Singapore Zoo (SZ) will adhere to in its undertakings for captive management and husbandry of all specimens in its animal collection. The following document has been adapted from the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), of which all subsidiary institutions of WRS are members.

The basic guiding principles for all staff of WRS and its subsidiary institutions, JBP, NS, RS and SZ, are:

  • Assisting in achieving the conservation and survival of species must be the aim of all staff members of WRS. Any actions taken in relation to an individual animal, e.g. euthanasia or contraception, must be undertaken with this higher ideal of species survival in mind, but the welfare of the individual animal should not be compromised.
  • To continually improve standards of animal welfare based on latest best practice and available information and guidelines from other organisations, and ensure the proper welfare of all animals in our care.
  • Promote the interests of wildlife conservation, biodiversity and animal welfare to colleagues and to society at large.
  • Encourage research and dissemination of achievements and results from work done at WRS institutions, in appropriate publications and forums.
  • Promote public education and awareness programmes and activities.
  • Cooperate with the wider conservation community including wildlife agencies, conservation organisations and research institutions to assist in maintaining global biodiversity.
 

At all times all staff members of WRS and its subsidiary institutions, JBP, NS and SZ, will act in accordance with all national and international law and will strive for the highest standards of operation in all areas including the following.

Areas

All staff members are expected to exercise the highest standards of animal welfare and to encourage these standards in others. We will ensure that all animals in our care are treated with the utmost care and their welfare should be paramount at all times. Any legislated codes for animal welfare in Singapore should be regarded as minimum standards. Appropriate animal husbandry practices must be in place and sound veterinary care available. When an animal has no reasonable quality of life, it should be euthanased quickly and without suffering. Training staff to the highest level possible represents one method of ensuring this aim.

Where "wild" animals are used in presentations, these presentations must: (a) deliver a sound conservation message, or be of other educational value, (b) focus on natural behaviour, (c) not demean or trivialise the animal in any way.

If there is any indication that the welfare of the animal is being compromised, the presentation should be brought to a conclusion. When not being used for presentations, the “off-exhibit” or “behind-the-scenes” areas must allow the animal sufficient space to express natural behaviour and should contain adequate items for behavioural enrichment.

All use of animals for public interaction and contact must be in accordance with the WRS Policy on Animal Shows, Contact and Training that has been reviewed and passed by the WRS Welfare and Ethics Committee (AWEC) on 31 July 2004.

While this policy and guidelines focus on "wild" animals, the welfare of domestic animals, eg, sheep, goats, horses, etc, which are used for public interactions and activities, should not be compromised.

All exhibits must be of such size and volume as to allow the animal to express its natural behaviour. Enclosures must contain sufficient material to allow behavioural enrichment and allow the animal to express natural behaviours. The animals should have areas to which they may retreat and separate facilities should be available to allow separation of animals where necessary, eg, cubbing dens, night quarters etc. At all times animals should be protected from conditions detrimental to their well-being and the appropriate husbandry standards adhered to.

All acquisitions of animals by JBP, NS and SZ, must be in accordance with the WRS Animal Acquisition Policy that has been reviewed and passed by the WRS Welfare and Ethics Committee (AWEC) on 8 Nov 2003.

All transfer and relocation of animals by JBP, NS and SZ, must be in accordance with the WRS Animal Relocation Policy that has been reviewed and passed by the WRS Welfare and Ethics Committee (AWEC) on 8 Nov 2003.

Contraception may be used wherever there is a legitimate need for reasons of population management. The possible side effects of both surgical and chemical contraception, as well as the negative impact on behaviour, should be considered before the final decision to implement contraception is made.

Euthanasia should always be considered in preference to keeping an animal alive under conditions which do not allow it to experience an appropriate quality of life. When all options have been investigated and the decision is taken that it is necessary to euthanise an animal, care will be taken to ensure it is carried out in a manner that ensures a quick death without suffering. Whenever possible a post-mortem examination should be performed and biological material preserved within Singapore, for research and gene conservation.

Mutilation of any animal for cosmetic purpose, or to change the physical appearance of the animal, is not acceptable. Pinioning of birds for educational or management purposes should only be undertaken when no other form of restraint is feasible and marking animals for identification should always be carried out under professional supervision, in a way that minimises suffering.

JBP, NS and SZ should be actively involved in appropriate research and other scientific activities regarding their animals and distribute the results to colleagues. When undertaking research involving the use of animals, a properly constituted research committee should be formed and all procedures should be approved by the WRS Animal Welfare and Ethics Committee (AWEC) in accordance with the AVA guidelines.

Invasive procedures designed to assist in medical research are not to be performed on animals in WRS. However the opportunistic collection of tissues during routine procedures and collection of material from cadavers will, in most cases, be appropriate. Cooperation with universities and other reputable scientific institutions, that is consistent with these guidelines, both nationally and internationally, should be encouraged.

The well-being of the individual animal and the preservation of the species and biological diversity should be paramount and uppermost in mind when deciding upon the appropriateness of research to be undertaken.

All release-to-the wild programmes must be conducted in accordance with the IUCN/ SSC/Reintroduction Specialist Group guidelines for reintroduction. This excludes the collaborative release (with NParks) of indigenous animals confiscated / donated by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore(AVA) and Singapore Police Force (SPF). No release-to-the-wild programmes shall be undertaken without the animals having undergone a thorough veterinary examination to assess their fitness for such release and that their welfare post-release is reasonably safeguarded. A monitoring programme with partnering organisations should be established and maintained as far as possible. In carrying out the release-to-the-wild programme, WRS should consult and coordinate with NParks and inform the WRS Animal Welfare and Ethics Committee (AWEC), and should be guided by the welfare of the animal and the impact of the release on the environment.

Every effort should be made to prevent the escape of animals and plants of alien species.

Unless there are sound reasons not to do so, each animal which dies in captivity, or during a release to the wild programme, should undergo post-mortem examination and have the cause of death ascertained.

WRS and its subsidiary institutions JBP, NS and SZ abhor and condemn ill-treatment of and cruelty to any animal. We support the following:

  • The taking of animals and other natural resources from the wild must be sustainable and in compliance with national and international law and conform to the appropriate IUCN policy.
  • Any international trade in wild animals and animal products must be in compliance with CITES and the national legislation of the countries involved.
    We oppose the illegal and unsustainable taking of animals and other natural resources from the wild, eg for bush meat, corals, fur or skin, traditional medicine, timber production.
  • We oppose the illegal trade in wild animals and wild animal products.
  • We oppose cruel and non-selective methods of taking animals from the wild.
    We oppose the collecting for, or stocking of animal exhibits, with the expectation of high mortality.
  • We oppose the use, or supply of animals for “canned hunting”, ie shooting animals in confined spaces, or when semi-tranquilised or restrained.
  • We oppose keeping and transporting of animals under inadequate conditions, eg, the keeping of bears in confinement for extraction of bile, dancing bears, roadside zoos or circuses / entertainment.

One of the key drivers of the loss of wildlife is man’s unsustainable exploitation of natural resources and the accompanying encroachment into wild habitats. We believe that our own survival and quality of life is intrinsically linked to the survival of the many species of plants and animals with which we share this Earth. Functioning ecosystems and biodiversity perform the essential services of providing us with clean air, water, food and shielding us from harmful diseases. Unsustainable consumption and development damage ecosystems, leading to climate change, which in turn reduces biodiversity and natural resources, and ultimately impacting human livelihoods and lives. 

As a wildlife conservation organisation dedicated to the protection of wildlife and their habitats, Mandai Park Holdings (MPH) advocates the responsible and sustainable use of natural resources.  We aspire to be
climate positive – to fight climate change by reducing emissions of greenhouse gases through our development and everyday operations.  

Our Environmental Sustainability Strategy guides us to incorporate sustainability principles in our daily operations and is aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) that are pertinent to our business and operations. We strive to be climate positive through:

  • Resource Optimisation - Striving to make the most efficient use of resources 

We aim to minimise carbon emissions by improving energy efficiency daily operations, exploring the use of clean energy sources, and investing in waste and water treatment and sustainable mobility. We continuously seek out sustainable sources of goods and services that cause minimal harm to the planet and communities. 

  • Biodiversity Protection – Working to protect regional and local wildlife as part of our greater conservation goals.

As part of our broader regional and national conservation efforts, we work to protect and enhance wild habitats in the Mandai Precinct and within our parks so that wildlife continues to thrive. We look for innovative solutions to improve wildlife accessibility to these habitats and provide world-class care for rescued native wildlife. We preserve and protect native flora and fauna through sensitive construction and catalysing forest regeneration. Through in-house research and partnerships with distinguished academic and wildlife institutions, we promote robust knowledge sharing to better protect wildlife. 

  • Integration with Surroundings – Designing parks that holistically and seamlessly integrate with the natural environment

The Mandai wildlife and nature destination is designed to be carbon efficient and naturally- inspired. The planned architectural and landscape features integrate with the natural environment to passively provide light, shade, ventilation, and thermal and visual comfort, with minimal carbon footprint. 

  • Sustainability Advocacy - Championing sustainability best practices to inspire and enable positive, tangible outcomes beyond Mandai

By uncompromisingly acting on our sustainability commitments we actively encourage and inspire our staff, guests and partners to adopt, and be ambassadors for, wildlife and environmentally friendly actions. 

By working both internally within our operations and externally with our stakeholders, we believe that the action of many is greater than the sum of its parts, and together, we protect wildlife. 

The illegal wildlife trade is driving species to extinction. As an organisation dedicated to the protection of wildlife and their habitats, we do not endorse illegal, unsustainable, or unethical use and trade of wild animal and plant products.

We commit to:

  • Encourage the use of products not harmful to threatened species
  • Educate the public about illegal wildlife trade
  • Engage our partners towards reducing illegal wildlife trade
  • Keep records on use of wild animal and plant products
  • NOT buy, use, sell, or serve products from wild animal species
  • Buy, use, sell or serve only certified sustainable wild plant products
See our general Terms and Conditions for goods and services.
Learn about the protection of your personal data with our parks.
Read about our commitment in protecting the environment and welfare of our staff and guests.
Learn about the principles of partnership dealings within our parks.

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