ABMA Position Statements

Animal Behavior Management Alliance (ABMA) Position Statements

The Animal Behavior Management Alliance, (ABMA) is a not-for-profit corporation with a membership comprised of animal care professionals and other individuals interested in enhancing animal care through training and enrichment. The ABMA is intended to be nurturing and informative, and was created to serve trainers, handlers, and keepers of animals, irrespective of species, with information and assistance in the behavior management of their charges.

  • Enrichment: The Animal Behavior Management Alliance (ABMA), in support of our core values, believes that a comprehensive enrichment program is an essential element of animal care. Enrichment programs should be based on the natural history and behavior of the species and the individual animal. Enrichment should be goal-based, evaluated for safety and effectiveness, offer choice and control, and provide opportunities to utilize natural abilities. A comprehensive enrichment program is integral for the optimal physical and psychological health and welfare of all animals in human care.
  • Positive Reinforcement: The Animal Behavior Management Alliance (ABMA), in support of our core values, endorses the use of positive reinforcement as our most effective and ethical method of behavior modification for all taxa. A science-based, proactive, positive reinforcement training program reduces fear and stress, resulting in enhanced animal welfare.
  • Aversives: The Animal Behavior Management Alliance (ABMA), in support of our core values, does not endorse the use of aversives in routine animal management. Physical or psychological intimidation increases fear, hinders learning, can increase aggression, and is detrimental to animal welfare. We recognize that for the safety of animals and people, some aversives may be unavoidable. The frequency and intensity of these aversives should be strictly limited and aversive-based training methods should be avoided. The ABMA advocates that animal care professionals and organizations strive to rely on positive reinforcement-based training programs to facilitate routine husbandry and veterinary care.

To learn more about ABMA visit: theabma.org