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About Us

Mission Statement 

The mission of the AAZV is to empower our members to advance our profession and enhance wild animal health, welfare, and conservation.


Based in Yulee, Florida, AAZV is the professional association for individuals and institutions who apply the principles of comparative veterinary medicine to zoo and wildlife species. With over 1000 members, we work in clinical zoo medical practices, diagnostic laboratories, reproductive and pathological laboratories, pharmaceutical companies, and a wide range of governmental health and wildlife management agencies throughout the world.

AAZV is an umbrella organization that provides advocacy, collaboration and partnerships for combined efforts for sustaining and improving the well-being of wildlife in all habitats. The key functions of AAZV are producing the Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine (JZWM), coordinating an annual conference promoting the dissemination of state-of-the-art knowledge in the field of wildlife health, and the supporting the Wild Animal Health Fund.

AAZV Goals

  • Advancing the health and welfare of zoo animals and wildlife through global collaboration with veterinarians, other scientists, and organizations
  • Promoting and funding scientific-based veterinary medicine through research, education, and the proactive dissemination of information
  • Providing expertise on zoo animals and wildlife, including the development of procedures and policies that affect their health, welfare, and conservation
  • Delivering quality professional development and member services
  • Fostering positive interrelationships among humans, animals and their environment
  • Elevating public awareness, respect, and trust for the profession

Finances, ByLaws and Governance

For many years, AAZV has promoted transparency in building relationships with its members, alliances and the general public.  This transparency has helped us improve communications, commitment and accountability of the Association.  Click HERE for our finances, governance documentation and ByLaws.

Do AAZV members have specialized training?

Knowledge of zoo and wildlife medicine requires special effort, study, and experience beyond the standard veterinary school training. Additionally, some members have attained advanced degrees in related fields (such as epidemiology, preventative veterinary medicine, pathology, reproductive medicine, and others), and may have obtained board certification in veterinary specialties. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has endorsed a specialty board in this field, which is called the American College of Zoological Medicine. There are currently more than 200 ACZM diplomates, and most of them are AAZV members.

How does the AAZV contribute to animal and human health?

Through its 14 standing committees, its quarterly peer-reviewed Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, and the efforts of individual AAZV members, the AAZV acts as a source of expertise regarding diverse issues in zoo and wildlife medicine. For example, AAZV's Infectious Disease Committee disseminates timely information and guidelines on emerging and existing infectious diseases, zoonoses, and other significant infectious agents that compromise the health of captive and free-ranging wildlife and threaten human health. 

Our Research Fund, the “Wildlife Animal Health Fund” funds critical research and studies that give zoo animals and wildlife a better quality of life. Each year, our research committee approves new studies. Some of the studies are metabolism problems in island foxes, chlamydia infections in red-tailed hawks, cancer in California sea lions, and a lethal parasite in elephant seals. In addition we have approved studies about: ranavirus in many species, parasites in orangutans, TB in elephants, and nutrition in rehabilitated green sea turtles. Even with being able to fund only eight new studies each year, we have to leave 40+ potential studies on the table because we can’t yet fund all of the qualified studies. It is our hope that one day we will be able to fund every qualified study grant application.

Does the AAZV work with other organizations?

The AAZV works closely with many allied health organizations, to develop science-based recommendations through consensus. Such groups include the Animal Health Committee of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the U.S. Animal Health Association, The Association of Wildlife Veterinarians, the Association of Avian Veterinarians, the Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians, and many other organizations in zoo, wildlife, and human medical fields.