Zoo Check receives thousands of reports regarding captive wild animal cruelty and neglect. The majority of the reports received are investigated and followed up to the best of our ability, but sadly it is simply not possible for the Zoo Check team to take direct action on all the issues that are brought to our attention. As a member of the public, a visitor to the country, who has perhaps paid entry to the zoo or animal 'attraction’, you have the right to raise your concerns about things you have seen that may have distressed or concerned you.
Never underestimate the power of the pen (or these days the computer). There are so many examples where people like you have put pen to paper or sent an email and made a difference. The Born Free Foundation is here to help you relay the right information to the correct people. Please look at the options below for advice on how best to write your letter or email of complaint. There are many useful pointers to help you
Writing your letter
Effective letters are short and concise - 300 words should be adequate to relay your comments and concerns. Be specific about why you are writing, and what concerns you. Remember you visited the country to have a wonderful experience and you have perhaps paid an entry fee to the attraction, you therefore have the right to raise your concerns.
Q: Who should I contact
As well as contacting the Born Free Foundation and providing us with information about the animals that you are concerned about, below you will find further advice and details of who to write to:
In the UK
If your concerns and comments are about captive animals in the UK, we suggest contacting the following:
Sadly, many countries do not have the same regulations for animal welfare and protection as the UK. However, by voicing your concerns you can help encourage change and help put an end to captive animal suffering and exploitation. We suggest contacting the following:
Please note that Born Free is not responsible for the content on external sites and is not affiliated with them in any way.
Q: What information should the letter include?
Ask direct questions that require an answer such as:
REMEMBER to ask for a reply and to give your contact details - name, address and email.
PLEASE be polite and courteous. You are less likely to receive an answer if you rant or are rude. You want the people that you are writing to, to listen and take you seriously.
PLEASE send copies of any replies you may receive following your letter or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: How do I address members of government, diplomats and royalty?
Address your letter specifically and correctly, so that it reaches the correct person/ department. See if you can find out the individual's name. Contact Born Free, we may be able to help you.
|To||Start with||Finish with|
|Presidents, chiefs of state, governors||Your Excellency||Yours respectfully and sincerely|
|Generals and colonels (Chiefs of State)||Your Excellency||Yours respectfully and sincerely|
|Prime Ministers||Dear Prime Minister||Yours respectfully and sincerely|
|Other Ministers||Your Excellency (outside Europe), Dear Sir (inside Europe)||Yours respectfully and sincerely, Yours faithfully|
|Members of Parliament (MP's) in the UK||Dear Mr, Mrs, Miss, Ms||Yours sincerely|
|Ambassadors and High Commissioners||Your Excellency, or Dear Ambassador||Yours sincerely and respectfully|
|Kings, Queens and other monarchs||Your Majesty||Yours sincerely and respectfully|
|Presidents of the US||Dear Mr President||Yours sincerely and respectfully|