Benefits of Membership
Whatever your theme; zoo, wildlife park, bird garden, butterfly house, invertebrate collection, aquarium you will have much to gain and to give when you become a BIAZA Member. The Association is the voice of Zoos and Aquariums in Britain and Ireland.
Collections cannot be too big or too small to benefit from BIAZA Membership and the larger its membership the more the Association can accomplish.
- Strength in Numbers. Zoos and aquariums can only achieve their maximum effectiveness by cooperation. Their strength and their future contribution to conservation, education and research can only be effective if they are part of a group of like-minded collections and the Association is the professional body which brings the best zoos and aquariums in Britain and Ireland together.
- Status of belonging to an organization whose standards are of internationally high repute.
- Contacts through the Association with civil servants and politicians responsible for formulating policy and legislation at national and European Community level. BIAZA is the professional body that represents zoos on the many government consultations that affect zoos, directly and indirectly.
- Opportunities to participate in, and to benefit from, education, marketing and public relations activities.
- Access to the technical expertise of other member zoos and aquariums (e.g. veterinary, reproductive, curatorial, marketing/PR, researchers, business management).
- Becoming part of the international and regional network of responsible zoos and aquariums. BIAZA is an active and influential component of this network; the work and importance of the network, which already involves over 1,000 zoos worldwide, is recognised and endorsed by the major conservation bodies, most notably IUCN – The International Union for the Conservation of Nature
- Participation in the co-operative and co-ordinated animal management programmes in Great Britain and Ireland (TWGS, Taxon Working Groups), which operate under the auspices of BIAZA. TWGs also produce husbandry guidelines and link with the relevant IUCN specialist groups in the production of recommended support for field conservation efforts
- Keeper training. The Association is the lead body of the Steering group that oversees the Diploma in the Management of Zoo and Aquarium Animals, currently provided by Sparsholt College Hampshire. Further training courses are run as the needs arise, often in conjunction with TWGs.
- Some BIAZA collections choose to offer free entry to staff from other BIAZA zoos and aquariums. We would stress that this is at the discretion of each collection, and would encourage any BIAZA staff member to contact the collection in question in advance of their visit, to enquire as to their policy on this.
- Gathering and dissemination of material and information of concern to Membership. A newsletter, LifeLines is produced four times a year, and a monthly Enews is sent to all members. Proceedings of meetings and information and updates on government legislation are also available to members.
- Production of husbandry guidelines and general leaflets and a web-based facility to make known available and wanted animals.
- Administration of a committee structure to help to define and operate clear policies and action for the organization.
- Organization of seminars and meetings to provide a forum for discussion on matters of interest to the membership and to keep abreast of professional issues, e.g., public relations, animal management, education, research.
- Campaigning and the co-ordination of fundraising activities. In recent years this has been carried out with EAZA, helping to run the annual conservation campaigns in Britain and Ireland.
- Support for members going through low periods and for potential members who may not currently be up to BIAZA standards but who are working towards it through the provisional membership scheme.
- Liaison with governmental agencies, e.g., Joint Nature Conservancy Council (JNCC), Natural England, Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), and non-governmental bodies, e.g., World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC), International Council for Bird Preservation (ICPB), Conservation Breeding Specialist Group (CBSG) and Learning Outside the Classroom.
- Liaison with Members of Parliament and decision makers through the All Party Parliamentary group for Zoos and Aquariums.
- Increasing the political profile in order to create a higher profile for our members and ‘good zoos and aquariums’.
- Membership and/or representation in zoo and aquarium organizations, e.g., the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA).
- Membership and/or representation in international organizations dealing with conservation, and captive breeding and re-introduction programmes, e.g.,IUCN, and the Specialist Groups, e.g., Conservation Breeding Specialist Group (CBSG), Re-introduction Specialist Group (RSG).
- Representation at national, regional and international meetings.
- Generation of positive PR on all aspects of the work of zoos and aquariums. BIAZA is experienced in talking to the public about generic zoo issues (having taken advice from the experts within the membership) and is explicit about distinguishing between members and non members.