Regulations & Standards

The following is a list of Government and Society Standards specific to their record keeping rules and regulations.

AZA Record Keeping Standards for Accredidation

1.4.1. An animal inventory must be compiled at least once a year and include data regarding acquisitions and dispositions at the institution.
1.4.2. All species owned by the institution must be listed on the inventory, including those animals on loan to and from the institution. In both cases, notations should be made on the inventory.
1.4.3. Animals must be identifiable, whenever practical, and have corresponding ID numbers. For animals maintained in colonies/groups or other animals not considered readily identifiable, the institution must provide a statement explaining how record keeping is maintained.
1.4.4. Animal records, whether in electronic or paper form, including health records, must be duplicated and stored in a separate location. Explanation: The institution must prevent records from being lost or destroyed in a catastrophe. A complete and up-to-date set of animal records must be duplicated and stored in separate locations (e.g., not in the same building, if kept onsite). Consideration should be given to physical distance and natural hazards when selecting the separate location. Electronic systems are acceptable.
1.4.5. At least one set of the institution’s historical animal records must be stored and protected. Those records should include permits, titles, declaration forms, and other pertinent information.
1.4.6. A staff member must be designated as being responsible for the institution’s animal recordkeeping system. That person must be charged with establishing and maintaining the institution’s animal records, as well as with keeping all animal care staff members apprised of relevant laws and regulations regarding the institution’s animals.
1.4.7. Animal records must be kept current, and data must be logged daily. Explanation: For keepers and other line staff, animal records must be current; data should be logged daily. Registrars should make every effort to log incoming new acquisition/ disposition and other appropriate data on a daily basis, or within 24 hours of receipt (on Monday, if a Friday). Records must be kept for at least five years (or until the next accreditation cycle is completed). Prior to disposal of any animal record files (e.g., keeper reports), all pertinent information must be transferred to the animal’s permanent historical file.
1.4.8. The institution must have a record-keeping system that provides sufficient detail to enhance husbandry, breeding, conservation, and medical health advancements to move forward the critical knowledge of the species through permanent and retrievable documentation. Explanation: ISIS participation is recommended (not required) for all species, and especially for all endangered, CITES I, SSP, and studbook species.
1.4.9. At least one member of an institution’s staff responsible for animal record-keeping should have the proper training, e.g., AZA’s Institutional Records-Keeping course.

ZAA Polices

Facilities are graded in many categories, including the following: physical facility, husbandry and animal care practices, record keeping and health care records, knowledge of animal personnel, animal diet and nutrition, facility security, veterinary care, licensing and permits, and safety plans. Accredited facilities have access to the Available and Wanted Animal List on the ZAA website.

(A) Professional standards for husbandry and animal care practices.
(B) Maintain accurate animal and medical records.
(C) Enhance the survival of species by the use of appropriate methods.
(D) Maintain an appropriate, safe, and quality existence for animals kept in a captive environment.
(E) Safety of humans, both staff and visitors, from injury and disease.

CAZA Standards
Under Review

USDA Standards

• Recordkeeping—Facility managers must maintain accurate and complete records of the sources of all animals that come into their possession. Managers are also required to keep records of the dates of acquisition and disposition and to properly identify the animals on the premises. These records must be made available for inspection whenever necessary. Licensed exhibitors must maintain on their premises accurate records of the animals that come into their possession. This information must be made available to APHIS officials during inspection. Over 450 Class B USDA exhibitors have been cited for not having the proper documentation or record of animal care. This can become a chronic problem.

United States Fish and Wildlife for collections
Record Keeping and Annual Reports

All persons holding Scientific Collecting, Education or Banding Permits must maintain accurate daily records of specimens collected under the authority of the permit, and the disposition of the specimens. These records shall be exhibited to any official of the Division of Wildlife upon request. All permit holders must submit an annual report of operations and the disposition of specimens prior to the first of February each year. The report must be submitted in a format provided by the Division of Wildlife or on accepted media. Failure to report may result in the forfeiture of the permit involved and affect the eligibility to apply for a new permit.

United States Fish and wildlife for migratory birds

14. Will I be required to keep records of my activities?

Yes. You must maintain accurate records of operations on a calendar- year basis. Your records should reflect each bird that you possessed and its disposition, including whether the birds were released, euthanized, died, are still undergoing rehabilitation in your care, or were transferred (including the name of the person(s) or institution to whom birds were transferred).

Will I be required to submit an annual report of activities?

Yes. You will receive an annual report form from your Regional Migratory Bird Permit Office. The report form can also be found on our website at This report must be completed and submitted to your issuing office by January 31 of each year.