United States

Legal requirements for the provision of enrichment in zoos in the United States

  • AZA (The Association of Zoos and Aquariums) has edited the Accreditation Standards and Related Policies in 2017, which proposed specific guidelines on enrichment and husbandry training that require members to initiate environment enrichment with every species they housed.
  • According to the policies, the institution must follow a formal written enrichment program that promotes species-appropriate behavioral opportunities.

Click here to see AZA accreditation standards and related policies (2017 edition)

  • USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) upholds and enforces the federal Animal Welfare Act in the US. This act provides guidelines for adequate indoor and outdoor facilities and space requirement for all warm-blooded animals; however, the provision of environmental and behavioral enrichment is only required for non-human primates and marine mammals.

Click here to see USDA Animal Welfare Act and Animal Welfare Regulations


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