Financial aspects of zoo diet management


Maslanka M. 2015. Financial aspects of zoo diet management. In Bissell H, Brooks M Eds. Proceedings of the Eleventh Conference on Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition, AZA Nutrition Advisory Group, Portland, OR.


Food purchases tend to be one of the greatest expenses, beyond salaries and benefits, for the maintenance of any zoo collection. For this reason, the commissary/food budget is one that receives a lot of attention during the budget planning process. Upon each accreditation inspection, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) requires proof of financial stability, including insurance coverage, evidence of financial support that outpaces expenses, and a backup plan in case funding is reduced. However, reviews are made once every five years and details of the commissary portions of the zoo’s budget and their purchasing practices are seldom reviewed in detail. Because of this, it is important that each zoo routinely and regularly scrutinize the animal food budget, purchasing practices, and overall diet management/formulation processes to ensure the most prudent use of resources – financial and otherwise.

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