Simon King - Public Relations
T: 01472 357 515
M: 0779 328 6412
12th June, 2014
A link up between two British organisations, a conservation charity and a bird food specialist, has led to a pioneering development that will help change the way birds are fed in the UK. Previously not listed on packs, the project will eventually enable the correct identification of the fibre, protein and mineral level compositions of bird food.
This unique alliance between the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) and Haith’shas seen a joint investment in a collaborative research programme that sharescollective knowledge and uses science toaccuratelyunlock the secrets of seed based avian diets. The first results of the collaboration were formally launched at the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) AGM at Yorkshire Wildlife Park on Wednesday 11 June.
As well as allowing domestic bird owners to make more confident and informed choices, the results will now lead to a zoo nutrition database for birds that willhelp construct diets with even better levels of nutrition. It is also hoped the knowledge will reduce the cost of mixes - helpful for zoo and aviary budgets. This is the very first time this has been done in the UK.
Andy Beer, Nutritionist for the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, said:
“When bird seed is currently purchased, the mix of millet and various seeds is identified on product packaging, but there is no way to know the nutritional composition of the feed birds are being offered. This is true for the bought mixes given to birds in zoos, wild fed bird and domestic bird mixes. It is important that a greater level of nutritional understanding of what birds are fed is developed. This includes such parameters as protein, oil and fibre content, as well as levels of essential minerals like calcium, phosphorous and iron – vital for bird health.”
Simon King, Associate Director of Haith’s, continues:
“We are excited to have collaborated with RZSS to develop an undertaking driven by nutritional analysis, collaborative research and knowledge. We believe it is important to challenge the old-fashioned endorsement that diets must work because they (the birds) breed every year and this project redefines and strengthens what we already know about diets for seed eating birds. Our findings are now going to allow the generation of bird diets based on science.
“Using Near Infra-Red Spectroscopy (NIRS) analysis, led by Andy Beer at RZSS, laboratory analysis of the indicative composition of bird seed that Haith’s sell has been determined. Potentially, this will enable the Company to provide accurate information on the label over time. Currently manufacturers have relied on spot checks and one off analysis. This knowledge will be used to further improve our range of SuperClean™ avian zoo diets, under the watchful eye of Professor John E Cooper FRCVS, FRCPath, our longstanding adviser.”
Andy, RZSS’ nutritionists, continues:
“The results of this project will help understanding of improved avian nutrition. It was one of those moments, when you think “that’s good!” we can make a real difference and create something significant to help zoo collections. Edinburgh Zoo’s bird collection will benefit because there is limited knowledge of the precise nutritional value of the individual components of blended seed diets and predicting nutrient intake accurately remains elusive for such diets. Haith’s will also use the information to benefit wild (free-living) birds.”
Haith’s source high quality, natural, raw materials from established suppliers around the world to produced diets for birds in captivity that are similar in appearance and texture to their wild counterparts; the avian food most also offer the same dexterity and ingestion repertoire. The value of consistently knowing the composition of what is consumed is a very desirable outcome.
For further information, please contact:
Royal Zoological Society of Scotland: Rachel Goddard, PR Manager on 0131 314 0312 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Or see the conservation work carried out at Edinburgh Zoo.
Haith’s: Simon King, Associate Director, on 01472 254 594 or email@example.com
Notes to editors:
About the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland
- The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) is a registered charity, charity no SC004064. RZSS was founded by visionary lawyer Thomas Gillespie. The Society was set up in 1909 ‘to promote, facilitate and encourage the study of zoology and kindred subjects and to foster and develop amongst the people an interest in and knowledge of animal life’.
- RZSS owns and operates both the Highland Wildlife Park and Edinburgh Zoo and is a member of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA). BIAZA represents its member collections and promotes the values of good zoos and aquariums. For further information please telephone 020 7449 6351.
Founded in 1937, Haith’s is one of the Europe’s leading bird food brands. They manufacture high-quality, natural bird diets and delivers them direct to bird enthusiasts across the UK. Their professional division, Haith’s PRO, supplies zoos and professional bird-keepers across the country. Their range of wild bird diets have earned the seal of approval from Bill Oddie. The Haith’s PRO website can be found at http://www.haiths.com/haiths-pro
4th June, 2014
WILDLIFE champion and TV presenter, Bill Oddie, will be joining zoos and aquariums across the UK and Ireland to discuss how they engage their visitors with the natural world.
The 2014 BIAZA Annual Conference, this year hosted by the Yorkshire Wildlife Park near Doncaster, will see more than 100 members of the British and Irish zoo and aquarium community come together to discuss the theme ‘Designing to Engage.’
Former BBC Springwatch host, Bill Oddie, is a keynote speaker at the event, which is being held from 9 to 11 June and will speak about his own experiences engaging audiences with wildlife.
He said: “As a broadcaster, engaging audiences with wildlife takes a great deal of planning, care and attention to detail. The best broadcasts improve viewers’ learning and yet manage to remain interesting, or, dare I say it, exciting. Too much entertainment, though, and it’s hard to deliver a credible message. For zoos, key conservation messages need to resonate with visitors without sacrificing the opportunity for them to learn more about the animal collections and enjoy their visit. Doing this will fulfil visitors’ experiences and – importantly - meet the requirements of a BIAZA Zoo: education, conservation and research.”
More than 22 million people visit members of BIAZA (the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums) every year, with 1.3 million of those on an organised educational visit. This puts them in a unique position to teach and inspire a wide and diverse audience.
This year’s conference looks at how zoos can engage their visitors, from the design of the animal enclosures, to their education programmes and looking at new ways to create connections that matter.
Dr Kirsten Pullen, CEO of BIAZA, said: “For many people, zoos and aquariums are the only places where they are likely to see and learn about a wide range of animals from around the world. Our members have unique opportunities to inspire visitors with the value and worth of the natural world around them, directing this emotional response towards conservation goals.
“Our annual conference is the ideal opportunity for our members to discuss issues affecting the zoo and aquarium community and focusing on how we engage with the communities around us, both in the UK and overseas. “
Speakers attending the conference include Bill Oddie, Brendan Hodgson from Hill and Knowlton Strategies, Dr Leah Melber from Lincoln Park Zoo, as well as zoos and aquariums from across the UK and Ireland.
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The British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) is a conservation, education and wildlife charity (charity no. 248553). Founded in 1966, it represents over 100 member organisations including all the significant zoos and aquariums in Britain and Ireland.
Its vision is ‘to be a powerful force in the care and conservation of the natural world’ and its mission is to support and lead its members:
• to inspire people to help conserve the natural world
• to participate in effective co-operative conservation programmes
• to deliver the highest quality environmental education, training and research
• to achieve the highest standards of animal care and welfare in zoos, aquariums and in the wild
London NW1 4RY
mob 077 38008600
tel 0207 449 6351
tel 020 74496599
BILL ODDIE JOINS LOVE YOUR ZOO CAMPAIGN
15th May 2014
WILDLIFE expert and TV personality, Bill Oddie has joined a campaign to help inspire kids about the natural world.
The former Springwatch presenter will be taking part in Love Your Zoo Week, a campaign launched by the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA), to teach people about the important role of zoos.
He said: “Good zoos play an important role in conservation. This seems to be the case for BIAZA zoos; good zoos know it’s no longer acceptable to just say “here’s some animals...come along and wonder at them. At the same time, they are raising funds for captive breeding programmes for endangered species and reintroducing them to the wild. Let’s also not forget that zoos offer people what could be their first contact with animals. Go on...love your zoo!”
Love Your Zoo Week was launched in 2011 to encourage people to visit their local BIAZA zoos, aquariums and wildlife centres and not only have a fun day out, but also learn just how much they do for conservation, education and research.
From Saturday, May 24 to Saturday, May 31, more than 70 BIAZA zoos and aquariums from across the UK and Ireland will be hosting a week of fun activities from hearts and crafts to talks on how zoos care for their animals and getting visitors to help prepare food and enrichment.
Dr Kirsten Pullen, Chief Executive Officer at BIAZA, said: “We are delighted that Bill Oddie will be supporting Love Your Zoo Week and helping us spread the word about the important role zoos play. BIAZA zoos and aquariums receive over 22 million visitors a year and this is no surprise as they are not only a fun day out, but also a chance to learn about and contribute to the conservation of the natural world. Last year alone our members carried out over 1000 projects and contributed over £11 million to field conservation.
“We hope people will support the Love Your Zoo campaign by visiting their local BIAZA zoo or aquarium and discovering just how much they do.”
Haith’s & Bill Oddie’s Bird Food “Love Your Zoo” Tour will see Bill visiting Newquay Zoo, Shepreth Wildlife Park and Hobbledown.
Bill added: “In a good zoo, the care and concern and personal relationship of the keepers to their animals is a wonderful piece of human behaviour frankly, and that sets a great example to all of us. Zoo visitors see that these people care and that’s a good thing. I’ve met so many nice people who work in zoos and their passion is enormous, and that’s why more people should get involved and visit BIAZA zoos.
“Over one million people – mainly children – visit BIAZA collections on an organised educational visit each year, which to me suggests good zoos are already doing a great job of educating future curators of the planet, and that’s why I’m taking my bird food recipes team on tour to support them.”
For more information or to find out about special promotional offers on during the Love Your Zoo campaign visit www.loveyourzoo.co.uk and don’t forget to tell us about your visit on Facebook or Twitter!
Notes to the Editor:
BIAZA, British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums
BIAZA is a conservation education and scientific wildlife charity, which acts as the principal professional zoo body representing the responsible zoo and aquarium community in the UK. With 100 members, its role is to develop and spread best practice within the UK and international zoo community, combining lobbying and campaigning with the development of policy in collaboration with the government and scientific organisations. BIAZA members support around 700 projects every year by providing financial support in excess of £10 million and by supplying skills, staff and equipment for conservation programmes worldwide.
www.biaza.org.uk charity number: 248553
10 Reasons to Love Your Zoo
1. More than 23 million people visit BIAZA’s member organisations every year – they are a great day out!
2. More than 1.3 million people come to BIAZA member organisations each year on an organised educational visit – visiting your local zoo is a fun way to learn about animals!
3. BIAZA members participate in about 600 research projects every year, many of these measuring behaviour with the aim of improving animal welfare – you are helping us learn about helping wildlife.
4. BIAZA members participate in more than 1,000 conservation projects every year.
5. They contribute about £12millon a year to field projects
6. BIAZA members contribute about £658 million to the national economy.
7. They create about 11,000 jobs (direct and indirect).
8. By visiting zoos you are helping to safeguard the future of vulnerable, threatened and endangered species
9. You can visit more than 2,000 different species of animal!
10.By visiting your local zoo or aquarium you are doing a good thing by taking the time to appreciate our wildlife and hopefully being inspired to make a difference. 10 Reasons Why You Should Love Your (BIAZA) Zoo/Aquarium
- May 28th Shepreth Zoo -
- May 29th Newquay Zoo - http://www.newquayzoo.org.uk/
- May 30th Hobbledown, Epsom, Surrey - http://www.hobbledown.com
Video clips of Bill Oddie available
Photo opportunities and interviews on request
Bill Oddie’s Bird Food Recipes and Haith’s
Bill Oddie’s Bird Food Recipes are available online at www.billoddiesbirdfood.co.uk and in store at Sainsbury’s and Wilko.
Haith’s bird foods can be found online at www.haiths.com
British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums
Direct line: 020 7449 6599
Founded in 1937, Haith’s is one of the Europe’s leading bird food brands. We sell high-quality, natural bird diets and deliver them direct to garden bird enthusiasts across the UK. Our traditional Haith’s paper sack has been on kitchen tables of generations of bird lovers. Our range is used by experts to care for rare and endangered species of birds and has earned the seal of approval from none other than Bill Oddie.
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What makes us different from other bird food companies?
• An expert helps QC our products using laboratory investigations
• We’re focused on health, welfare and conservation
• We invest in professionals entering the field of avian nutrition through our Haith’s PRO Scholarship schemes
• Our seeds are SUPERCLEAN(TM) because dust is harmful to birds’ respiratory system
• We only buy raw materials from reputable sources
• Mixes are consistent in recipe
As a business we want to make it easier for people to feed the birds and enjoy themselves too. And to help conservation by providing clean bird diets because they are better for birds. Our philosophy is simple: healthy diet, healthy bird.
We aim to put nature first. This is reflected in everything we do at The Bird Food Centre in Lincolnshire. We recycle waste materials, creating briquettes that will one day heat part of our factory. We source more than 50% of our raw materials from British farms and some suppliers are within 30 minutes of The Bird Food Centre. We invest some of our profits into research and development at Haith’s PRO. This team is in constant communication with avian experts across the globe, in search of new ways to improve their bird diets.
For further information and supporting photography please contact:
Simon King - Public Relations
T: 01472 357 515
M: 0779 328 6412
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