Getting Better All the Time
To keep ahead, each one of us, no matter what our task, must search for new and better methods—for even that which we now do well must be done better tomorrow.
—James F. Bell
Doing Good Work(s) Serving Animals and Others Changes Everything
By James F. Gesualdi
May we all do good work and reach new heights.
What We Are Called to Do with Our Lives
Doing good work. Doing good works. Doing good, works. These short words, three simple sentences, differing only by the addition of the letter "s" and then a mere comma. Our lives, and our personal and professional efforts on behalf of animals, are more effective and fulfilling when we embrace the ideas within these three variations of these words.
Conscientiously taking action, getting to it, and doing it well. Being a professional. Continually looking for ways to improve our performance. Growing as people and professionals. The San Diego Zoo Global Academy is a wonderful resource for zoological professionals—especially animal caregivers and those who support them—doing good work.
Thoughtfully making a difference for animals and people—particularly when we improve and save animals' lives and advance their interests within our organizations, the zoological community, and the world—requires that we do good work. Doing good work that serves to enhance and protect the lives of animals gives us the opportunity of a lifetime to make this a better world, for one animal at a time. Hard as such work may be, let us always remember that life is precious, and there is no higher calling than to invest our time and energy doing good works for other living beings.
The three words we are embracing here raise us and our respective professions, and keep us ever mindful of the higher purposes driving us—and they work. Striving to do our best with what we have, and doing it for the right reasons, generally yields better outcomes. Even when things do not turn out as well as we wanted, we can take comfort in knowing we did good work, in doing good works, and we will work hard to understand how we can improve ourselves and this particular outcome.
Doing good work. Doing good works. Doing good, works. Three words that say "I love you" to what we do, why we do it, and the animals at the heart of it all.
Time to Be Heard on Birds
On August 19, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Animal Care Unit announced that it will hold three listening sessions to receive comments on the agency's anticipated rulemaking on standards of care for birds.
In a Federal Register announcement, the agency posed several questions relevant to the regulation of birds, including inquiries relating to possible exemptions, means for classifying or grouping birds for regulatory purposes, and avoiding interference with breeding and nesting potentially caused by the regulations themselves and agency inspections:
The notice also asked about "appropriate performance-based standards." Performance-based regulations are those that require a certain outcome, but do not prescribe the means for achieving it. Conversely, engineering standards are those that set out a specific parameter, such as the minimum size of an enclosure.
The listening sessions are scheduled as follows:
- Tuesday, September 29, 8 a.m. PDT
- Wednesday, October 7, 11 a.m. PDT
- Thursday, October 15, 2 p.m. PDT.
Participation requires advance registration. Information on providing oral and written comments can be found on the agency website:
Doing good works. This is a great opportunity for the zoological community to share its expertise and relevant professional standards, as well as lessons leveraged from any relevant good practices for the care of many species of birds.
It is good that the AWA regulations will contain standards for avian protection and welfare. This is also an opportunity for zoological organizations to examine the ways their animal welfare programs extend to all species in their care, and for the zoological community to encourage the agency to extend some basic welfare protections to all species entrusted to the care of humans. That would truly being doing good work(s).
New Online Database of AWA Compliance Records, Including Inspection Reports and "Teachable Moments"
The agency announced that its new AWA compliance database will be available September 21. The database and the public search tool will allow users to "see a copy of 'teachable moments,' which are minor problems that are identified during inspections but may be corrected quickly, without a formal noncompliance being cited on the inspection report."
It is worth repeating the plea set forth in prior columns that the always-available AWA compliance database means the world can readily ascertain important regulatory information about your organization, including inspection reports and teachable moments. You can demonstrate your commitment to transparency, accountability, and the animals in your care by self-posting to your website inspection reports and teachable moments, as well as any self-certified compliance reports attesting to completion of corrective measures and farther-reaching improvement plans, among other things. This voluntarily makes you the best source for compliance info on your regulatory standing and ongoing efforts to practice Excellence Beyond Compliance®. It's all related.
Good Ideas and Good Intentions Require Good Actions to Come to Life and Change Lives
On the anticipated bird regulation, share what you have learned doing good work and doing good works for birds. With respect to the database, you are responsible for making sure your compliance records demonstrate that you are doing good work and doing good works for animals. You can also build on that with your own good practice of self-posting inspection reports, self-certified compliance statements, and improvement plans. As the opening quote of this column calls to us, let us get going doing good work(s) for animals and people, and together we can reach new heights in our lives, work, and this world we share.
In loving memory of George Thomas Seaver, #41, boyhood model of excellence and inspiration in doing good work.
© 2020 James F. Gesualdi, P.C. The opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author. This is not, nor should it be construed as, legal advice.
For more information on EXCELLENCE BEYOND COMPLIANCE® see http://excellencebeyondcompliance.com/.