Our work is based on respect for the dignity and well-being of the animals in our care, our customers and supporters, colleagues, partners, and the planet we live on. The obligation and desire to maintain the highest degree of ethical conduct are at the forefront of our mission and embedded in our values.

The Wildheart Animal Sanctuary, under the umbrella of The Wildheart Trust, pledges to always exercise care and compassion towards the animals in our care and in all aspects of our operations.

We aspire to inspire and nurture positive public attitudes and behaviors towards animals, humanity, and the natural world, leading by example through our actions.

We use science and monitoring to support the welfare of our animals, wider learning and engagement.

While we strive, through our vision, to work towards a world where no wild animal is required to live in captivity, we believe that it is morally right to keep animals in captivity when it is in the interests of individual welfare, species conservation, or for a wider environmental purpose.

We have an aspirational set of values and principles to guide our ethical code of practice, these are as follows.

Our ethical values

Care – We treat every being with respect and compassion and we care about maintaining high standards in all that we do. Integrity – We are honest, responsible and accountable so that we can be trusted.

Commitment – We work hard to honor our mission and are devoted to the people and animals in our care.

Positivity – We need a special combination of pragmatism, passion and optimism to tackle tough issues that sometimes seem insurmountable.

Learning – We never stop learning and together we share our knowledge to foster a love for the natural world and for animals.

Our ethical principles

We will:

  • ensure that the well-being of our animals remains at the heart of our mission and that we go over and above professional care standards (as stipulated by BIAZA, the Animal Welfare Act (2018) or the Secretary of State’s Standards of Modern Zoo Practice (2000) ) to ensure that our animals thrive mentally, emotionally and physically
  • ensure the economic health of the Trust upon which our charitable aims are dependent
  • promote a culture of integrity, care, and accountability ensuring that our individual judgments and decisions positively influence the long-term survival of the Trust
  • Honour the Trust’s values in every aspect of our work be that with our colleagues, fellow professionals, or the wider world
  • aspire to the highest standards of excellence possible through all aspects of our operation by utilizing our own skills and experience and in partnership with others
  • guarantee that all its facilities have the requirements, so the animals can express their natural behaviors, important to their well-being ensure that all new planned facilities, as well as any improvement to existing facilities, will meet the requirements for each of the species,
  • actively collaborate and partner with individuals and organizations who are working towards a better world for animals and the environment
  • prioritize rescued animals when acquiring new residents through our Species Plan and aim to provide lifelong homes for those individuals
  • ensure that our animals are ethically acquired and when necessary rehoused in accordance with BIAZA’s Animal Transfer Policy
  • maximally engage and empower our audiences to take positive action for animal welfare and biodiversity, where this involves the use of animals as ambassadors for conservation and as a resource for education and engagement, we will maintain the highest standards to ensure their wellbeing
  • commit to sustainable and cruelty-free procurement and use of resources and practice what we preach as individuals
  • promote and demonstrate inclusivity valuing everyone regardless of race, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, religion, disability or age
  • we will not contravene local, national, or international laws or regulations; we will not disclose false information and will operate with transparency

Code of Ethics review process

We will review our ethical behavior, at least bi-annually, through our Ethics Committee.

Title: Code of Ethics
Version: 2019:v1
Date: 22/08/2019
Reviewed By: 22/08/2021
Policy Holder: Chief Executive