History of BIAZA
Stuart McGeachie

History of BIAZA

The British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) was formerly known as the Federation of Zoological Gardens of Great Britain and Ireland until 2005. The Federation was initially founded in 1966 with representatives from 9 zoos and bird gardens (Bristol, Chester, Edinburgh, London, Paignton, Dublin, Dudley, Tropical Bird Garden and Birdland), under the chairmanship of the Earl of Cranbrook. The Federation aimed to see standardised principles and practices adopted in animal management in the British Isles, whilst ensuring members achieved and maintained high standards which was monitored through an inspection procedure.

In 2005 the Federation became BIAZA in recognition of a new direction towards modernisation. The primary reason for the change in name was to encompass a wider remit and by changing from a federation to an association BIAZA was able to highlight the importance of leading members in conservation, research and education, as well as relevant legislation and policy. This change also included the membership of aquariums, adaptation to the modern concept of zoos and representation of the zoo and aquarium community equally.