Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

About Zoo Check

zoo cruelty (c) BFF
Suffering for human 'entertainment'

The Zoo Check programme lies at the heart of the Born Free Foundation, and since 1984 has worked to prevent captive animal suffering and phase out zoos. Zoo Check promotes Born Free’s core belief that wildlife belongs in the wild.

Millions of animals are kept in a variety of captive situations, including zoos, circuses, and marine parks, are used for tourist encounters and souvenir photographs, or are kept as “pets”. Born Free exposes animal suffering and fights cruelty; campaigns for tighter animal welfare legislation; challenges the captivity industry; stops wild animal exploitation in advertising, TV and films; investigates tourists’ animal welfare concerns and much more.


captive Lion
Zoo Check monitors hundreds of zoos

The Zoo Check team undertakes research on all issues concerning captive wild animals.  Zoo Check maintains records of the status and performance of hundreds of zoos, circuses and other captive facilities worldwide.


Taking action on the front line

Our high-profile campaigns focus on changing public attitudes, informing decision-makers, and giving captive wild animals a voice. Whether it is exposing malpractice and poor conditions endured by captive wild animals or raising greater awareness about the needs of wild animals and their welfare, Zoo Check takes action on the front line for captive wild animals.

Improving legislation

High standards and detailed guidelines to ensure better animal welfare are often the first steps in creating better lives for wild animals. Zoo Check’s work promotes and encourages compliance with existing legislation, investigates and exposes examples of non-compliance, and works with authorities to improve legislation.


Born Free’s Zoo Check programme influences and encourages a change in attitudes away from keeping wild animals in captivity in favour of their protection in the wild. Working with local communities, other organisations, the travel industry, the media and governments, we do our best to inform and influence decision-makers and inspire people, young and old, to respect wildlife and support its protection in its natural habitat.

Working with others

Working with others is the key to the success of the Born Free Foundation. The Zoo Check team works with many like-minded NGOs, with governments and the travel industry across the world to keep wildlife in the wild.

You Can Help

Send us your report on animal suffering and neglect by filling out this form

Travel responsibly and help care for wildlife and protect the environment - download our Travellers' Tips - PDF 296KB

"We can learn as much about lions by studying them in their captivity as we can about men by studying them in their prison cells,"

Virginia McKenna
Born Free Founder & Trustee

Born Free Foundation
Broadlands Business Campus, Langhurstwood Road
, Horsham, RH12 4QP, UK - Charity Reg. No. 1070906

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