Press release: Global collaboration for animal welfare with the Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens

2021 animals asia cazg paws May 26, 2021

Media contact: Sabrina Brando
Founder and director
[email protected]


Press Release


Since August 2020 Animals Asia and AnimalConcepts are collaborating with the Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens to support them in their efforts to improve and maintain good animal welfare for animals in member parks.

The Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens (CAZG) is dedicated to continuous personal development through educational opportunities of zoo employees to improve the wellbeing of the animals and a wide variety of events have been held since 2012.

This new online educational effort is also made possible through collaborations with other experts in the zoo community through recorded webinars with translated slides and subtitles. These are accessible for viewing on a dedicated ‘YouTube’ style channel as well as additional translated resources on a platform for viewing and download. A similar platform to the Practical...

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Ep44 with Jan van Hooff on growing up in a zoo, Burgers' Zoo in WWII, and how connecting with a drill shaped his career

2021 ibuzz podcast May 22, 2021

Jan van Hooff was born in a zoo in 1936. He grew up in Burgers’ Zoo, founded and named after his grandfather Johan Burgers. His grandfather was a butcher and in the meat trade, and also an avid collector of pheasants. Jan shared how the zoo grew as other animals were added to the pheasant collection, like boars, deer and a rescued bear. He also shares some operational details and approaches to zoos in the Netherlands and other European cities in the early 19th century.

Jan shares how his grandfather would travel to Germany for his trade and how I came in contact with the work of Karl Hagenbeck in Hamburg, the winter quarters of the circus animals as displays without bars but using ditches and other barriers that allowed for containment as well as unobstructed viewing. He was fascinated by this design and in 1913 in Arnhem Burgers’ Zoo opened. 

Jan shares how his father and mother met, and how his father was a big animal friend, and how he grows up with all the...

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Ep43 Amy Plowman on the importance of nutrition, collaboration, and learning from the wild

2021 ibuzz podcast May 15, 2021

Dr Amy Plowman who is the head of conservation with the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, is part of the European Nutrition Group, and was at the Paignton Zoo and Wild Planet Trust for over 2 decades.

Amy shares how she came to study animal nutrition and remarks the importance of the diets in promoting optimal welfare. She gives some practical examples of nutritional problems and how she started looking at sugars and carbohydrates in the animal’s diets.

Amy explains different types of nutrients and deepens the conservation by sharing about the diverse adaptations for digestion in different types of animals. She talks about the cultivated food grown for humans that in most zoos is given to the animals due to availability and otherwise high costs and challenges accessing certain foods year-round. Amy discusses diseases related with certain diets and some solutions.

Amy shares a variety of her research on nutrition, as well as the use of thermal cameras and conservation, sharing...

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E42 Suzy Deurinck on connection, being, social skills, and 247 horse welfare

2021 ibuzz podcast May 08, 2021

Suzy Deurinck is from the Netherlands and is the owner of the horse consultancy company Deurinck Paardengedrag & Welzijn (horse behaviour and welfare).

 Suzy shares she is not as the typical horse lady. She tells us how she started being interested in horses, talks about her academic career and her MSin Animal Science, wanting to help changing the odd training methods in horses. 

 Suzy introduces her thesis work in dog training and welfare, and how head and neck posture affecting horse welfare. She talks about her data collection and her research findings. 

 Suzy brings a nice story of a magical connection with Joy, a horse she care for very muchand gives some other examples of connection between animals and humans. 

 Suzy talks about her work running the consulting company, analyzing training videos, facial expressions, and ...

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Ep41 Geoff Hosey on academic research, human-animal interactions and lemurs

2021 ibuzz podcast May 01, 2021

Geoff Hosey is an Honorary professor at the University of Bolton in the UK. His experience of undertaking research and supervising students has mostly been in behavioural biology, animal welfare and primatology, and he is still involved in research on zoo animal welfare, particularly about human-animal relationships in the zoo.

Geoff shares how he started studying animals and animal welfare and explains what behavioural biology is. He suggests new students to starting an academic career to do research in this field and encourages zoos and other animal facilities to do more research in general.

Geoff shares aspects of his academic work, which he mostly conducted at Bolton University, teaching behavioural biology and supervising many different research projects on wild and captive animals across a variety of species. Geoff talks about his work comparing behaviours of wild lemurs in Madagascar and in captivity and he shares some nice primate stories.

He shares insights from the studies...

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Ep40 Sarah van Herpt on bear friendships, the importance of observations, and stories of healing

2021 ibuzz podcast Apr 24, 2021

Sarah van Herpt is a senior bear team manager at Animals Asia in Vietnam, and she shares the work Animals Asia is doing and how they are working to improve the welfare of animals in captivity. In addition, they are working towards ending the dog-meat trade and ending bear farming. 

Sarah shares with us the daily routine of observation, feeding, and enrichment with the bears at the sanctuary. She explains all about the dens and bear houses in the facilities, the choice the bears have, and open access for the animals. 

Sarah talks about different behaviours at night, sleeping habits, secret friendships, and the different personalities they bears have, and helps us understand what a happy bear looks like and how they mimic faces of others when playing. She explains the different types of friendships found in the groups. 

Sarah provides some background on sun bears and moon bears, differences in biology, and care in captivity. She speaks about the interaction between...

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Ep39 Steve Unwin on interconnectedness, community, and people also as part of nature

2021 ibuzz podcast Apr 17, 2021

Dr Steve Unwin, Lecturer in Biosystems and Environmental Change at the University of Birmingham School of Biosciences in the UK, is a European specialist in Zoo Health Management. 

Steve starts introducing how he became into the field of veterinary science and conservation, his work in zoos and other facilities and his time as a veterinary officer and clinical manager at Chester Zoo. Steve thinks that conservation is not about animals, is but about people, and he highlights the importance of storytelling for conservation purposes.

Steve shares his involvement with the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance veterinary programme, through which he also worked together with Sabrina. Steve is not only working with African primates but also with orangutans through the Orangutan Veterinary Advisory Group. He remarks on the importance of capacity building of local primate and wildlife veterinarians, scientists and conservation managers.

Steve explains the differences between the One Health and...

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Ep38 Gordon Burghardt on reptiles, critical anthropomorphism, controlled deprivation and play

2021 ibuzz podcast Apr 10, 2021

Gordon Burghardt is an Alumni Distinguished Service Professor in the Psychology, Ecology, and Evolutionary Biology departments at the University of Tennessee in the USA, with more than 50 years of experience in the field. 

Gordon gives a short overview of his work and research interests, having worked with all kinds of animals and collaborated with people all around the world. He talks about his last research project studying behaviour in black bears' dens and cubs. 

Gordon shares some stories of the learning repertoire of reptiles, individuality and personality differences in reptiles, and the behaviour of snakes right at birth. He also shares other work in social behaviour and learning with spiders, fish, turtles, and stingrays. 

Sabrina and Gordon talk about critical anthropomorphism, a place for emotions in behaviour system research, and comparative psychology using animal models to understand humans. 

Gordon expresses his opinion on the ethical treatment of...

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Press release: PAWS celebrates its 1st anniversary!

2021 paws Apr 09, 2021

Media contact: Sabrina Brando
Founder and director
[email protected]


Press Release


PAWS celebrates its 1st anniversary!

We are celebrating today 1st anniversary of the Practical Animal Welfare Science platform! First, a huge thank you to all our PAWS members! We at AnimalConcepts are so grateful to engage in animal and human wellbeing activities and learning together with you all, we could not be without you!

PAWS grew so much in 1 year, with 2 new platforms added, 1 on human wellbeing OneCare, and 1 on the Earth Charter and SDGs. We are grateful to hear from all our members how much they use and enjoy them.

AnimalConcepts launched the PAWS platform on 9 April 2020 with the purpose to provide access to quality content to serve animals, people and the planet. At the time of launch, I said,

"My vision is that the PAWS' platform is one of the go-to resources that animal care professionals can use to learn, engage, and enjoy in our...

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PAWS member KonijnWijs and De Kattentroon founder Laura Dijkman

This blog is written by Laura Dijkman. Laura has been a PAWS member since 2020. She is from the province of North Holland in the Netherlands, and as we say in the Netherlands, a true “polder” girl. Born in Haarlem, one of her favourite cities, 2 years ago she moved with her boyfriend to a beautiful house in Valkenburg. Laura runs KonijnWijs and De Katten Troon. Thank you Laura for this blog & for being an active PAWS community member!

KonijnWijs Trimsalon and De Katten Troon were born from a love for animals. KonijnWijs translates roughly into “RabbitWise”, in other words; handling and caring for your rabbit wisely. De Katten Troon translates into “The cat’s throne”, in other words; handling your cat like royalty.

I provide rabbit and cat care and provide general advice on aspects such as fur care, skincare, health and nutrition, disease prevention, and housing. My love for...

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