What Is REEC?
REEC stands for Regional Environmental Enrichment Conferences. These meetings are organized by regional committees (SHAPE Regionals) in different regions of the world, with the purpose of interesting people from all aspects of the animal-care industry in the discipline of environmental enrichment.
The mission of REEC meetings is to provide a venue for animal carers from smaller regions of the world to meet and discuss environmental enrichment. We aim to encourage more people to attend enrichment meetings, speak at the international conferences, and publish their work in proceedings and the Shape of Enrichment. We would like to try and include many facilities within each region in addition to zoos, such as private collection animal keepers, the laboratory industry, farming, and the companion animal sectors. Many of these organizations do not have money in their budgets to send animal management staff to international conferences, but it is important that they are involved in current research, have access to information about enrichment, and share their enrichment experiences. We can all learn from each other, and we all seek to improve the welfare of our animals.
Sample Comments on Previous REECs
"Marwell Wildlife held the 3rd UK and Ireland REEC which was attended by 100 delegates from 30 UK zoos and universities and 14 worldwide institutions. The conference was excellent! We heard a range of talks from keepers, research students and a vet on enriching carnivores, primates, ungulates, birds and reptiles and found the workshops on rope splicing, willow shaping, the practicalities of enrichment and how to study the efficacy of enrichment very useful."
"Over 150 researchers, animal caretakers, professors, and students, from numerous states in Brasil and Argentina, attended our first Brasilian REEC in Sao Paulo! The aim of the conference was to fulfill the need in Latin America to discuss new discoveries and relate them to better levels of animal welfare. This conference was not limited to the exchange of knowledge built in Brasil but also designed to create a more comprehensive exchange among different cultures and institutions. Presenters from Brasil, USA, and Austria, representing zoos, universities, animal laboratories, and the farming industry spoke on a variety of enrichment-related topics, including the history and principles of enrichment, enrichment programs, stress, enrichment and welfare assessment, and enrichment ideas for a variety of taxa."