Chair of EAZA Membership and Ethics Committee, Director of Apenheul Zoo

I have known Jake for nearly two decades. We have a shared passion for antelope, giraffes and their conservation. Jake is an insightful individual who has always acted with integrity and commitment to issues of conservation and animal welfare even when it might have been unpopular to do so. In particular he turned around one of the most important and challenging breeding programmes in Europe; that of the eastern bongo and initiated the development of a conservation strategy for the species in its native range. More recently we have connected on the issue of animal welfare assessment and attainment where Jake has developed a genuinely unique tool to identify the needs of species that we at the Dutch Zoo Federation are excited to consider in our accreditation process.

Canada Research Chair in Animal Welfare, University of Guelph, Ontario

Making a real difference for captive animals involves the objective, evidence-based assessment and improvement of their welfare: making decisions that are informed by the head - not just the heart - ensures they get the best husbandry and care, Jake is a champion of this approach. I had the pleasure of working with Jake on the welfare of zoo elephants, and have always found him to be passionate about zoo animal welfare and conservation.

Director, Human Resources, Education and Health & Safety, The Calgary Zoo

Jake is highly intelligent and has superior analytical skills.  He led a very strong animal care team and his leadership was essential during the Calgary flood of 2013 to allow us to evacuate, within a very short time, all the animals who were in danger and to rebuild a large portion of the zoo that was damaged.  Jake managed to implement cost savings measures at the health centre and across the animal care and conservation departments while improving standards and performance in terms of welfare, safety, public engagement and conservation output.  He definitely brought the Zoo to the next level and still to this day, the detailed work procedures he put into place for the animal care staff to ensure the safety of the keepers and the safety of the animals are recognized as being the best in Canada.

Georgina Allen

Director, Wild Welfare

I have worked with Dr Jake Veasey for a number of years, both in the UK and internationally on a wide variety of projects pertaining to animal welfare concerns. From zoo design, to specific species care, Jake has significant experience and expertise in how modern animal welfare concepts can be readily translated into accessible and tangible practices within zoos and aquariums. He is one of those rare individuals who maintains a high level of integrity and professionalism, while simultaneously challenging the status quo of practices that impact animal welfare in captivity.  

David Hancocks

Former Director Weribee Open Range Zoo, Executive Director Arizona-Senora Desert Museum, Director Woodland Park Zoo, Architect, Zoo and Museum Planner, Author,

Jake is a rare being in the zoo world: a thoughtful and articulate man with a strong mix of practical experience, a deep knowledge of applied ethology, and a very high regard for animal welfare. He has much to contribute towards the improvement of zoos for animals, for staff (notably, I suspect, keepers, curators, marketing, and education staff), and for visitors.

Dave Neale

Animal Welfare Director, Animals Asia Foundation

Animals Asia engaged the services of Jake Veasey and ‘Care for the Rare’ to provide consultancy to our partner organisation, the Elephant Conservation Centre based in the Central Highlands of Vietnam.  Jake was tasked with designing a facility to house elephants that have spent almost their entire lives within the elephant riding tourism industry, and to aid their rehabilitation back into natural social groups.  Jake designed a facility which once developed by the Elephant Conservation centre will maximise the welfare benefits for these rescued elephants, allowing them opportunities to fulfil their natural behaviours and providing opportunities to ensure their physical welfare is optimized.  In addition to providing the facility design, Jake also provided the Elephant Conservation Centre with a management philosophy which supports the facility design, this includes the establishment of new standards of best practice for captive elephants unable to be returned to the wild by providing environments that promote their psychological wellbeing whilst inspiring visitors to cherish elephants by seeing them in circumstances replicating their natural environment, and ensuring safety for the operating staff.

Chris Webster

CEO WiNK Developments Ltd (Former CEO, Woburn Safari Park, Deputy Executive Chairman, Yorkshire Wildlife Park Ltd)

Jake is one of the most exciting and dynamic zoo professionals that I have encountered in over twenty-five years in the sector. He has extremely strong academic credentials. This knowledge he applies in the most creative and practical way into designs for new animal housing and exhibits. In his ten plus years at Woburn Safari Park, whilst I was CEO, the collection and the infrastructure supporting it was fundamentally “re-designed and re-engineered”.  He is exceptionally qualified in transforming the benchmark for captive animal welfare.  He has excellent communication skills and quickly builds empathy and trust; people respect him. This creates the optimum environment to establish a brief and to develop a concept into a practical output.

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