The Elephant Welfare group was set up in response to a series of reports highlighting welfare concerns in captive elephants.
Following this, BIAZA were asked by the UK government to co-ordinate a group to tackle these issues and drive forward a series of evidence based improvements in the welfare and care of elephants in UK collections. Lord Henley, the Government Minister said to BIAZA: I believe that BIAZA’s Elephant Welfare Group is well-placed to drive forward a programme of improvements, encourage co-ordination, develop and share husbandry advice and good practice, and monitor progress.
The group consists of members from academia, welfare organisations and zoos including scientists, keepers and directors. More information can be found here.
I sit on the Elephant Welfare Group as an independent member and I am work group leader for the "Reproduction and Social Behaviour" Subgroup.
This work has resulted in the completion of a large study on reproduction generously sponsored by Chester Zoo which has been published in the Journal of Zoo and Aquarium Research.
One of my MSc students, Andrew Wood also completed a study on social behaviour in bull elephants which is being prepared for publication now.