6 October 2011
Categories: Zoo Check Campaign News
36 students from the Downlands Community School in Hassocks, West Sussex, will travel to the European Parliament in Brussels next week with the Born Free Foundation to discuss the plight of wild animals in Europe’s zoos with officials from the UK Government, the European Commission and the Parliament.
The students’ compassionate adventure follows a week of animal-related events and workshops at their school in support of The EU Zoo Inquiry 2011, a campaign established by Horsham-based international wildlife charity, the Born Free Foundation, to shed light on the poor conditions of many of Europe’s failing zoos.
Daniel Turner, spokesperson for Born Free and The EU Zoo Inquiry 2011 explains,
“Our investigations over the last twelve months have confirmed that hundreds perhaps thousands of zoos across the European Community are not meeting the required standards and millions of animals may be suffering unnecessarily. Students from Downlands Community School, as representatives of civil society, are travelling to Brussels in support of our campaign for change. I hope that, in light of our evidence, the European Commission will take the necessary measures to end suffering and neglect in Europe’s zoos and ensure, through effective enforcement, that failing zoos will close.”
On 12th October, students, accompanied by teachers and Mr. Turner, will travel to Brussels to have a closed audience with government officials and policy-makers to convey their concerns and seek solutions to the inconsistencies in enforcement and substandard conditions, as identified through Born Free’s investigations.
Downlands Community School Head-teacher, Mrs. Hetherton, is supporting the student envoy from the School and has welcomed the chance to work with the charity,
“This has been a wonderful opportunity for students at Downlands to gain greater insight into political processes, parliamentary workings and the formation of new legislation. By becoming involved with the Born Free Foundation, students have developed a well thought through campaign, outlining their concerns with regard to animal welfare in zoos. This whole experience will demonstrate to young people that we all have a voice and if we want it to be heard there are ways and means to ensure politicians are aware of the public's views which may, in turn, influence the formation of new legislation. We are very grateful to our sponsors and the Born Free Foundation for providing such an enriching educational experience.”
The EU Zoo Inquiry 2011 is an extensive investigation into the licensing and performance of zoos across the EU carried out by the Born Free Foundation, in association with the European Coalition, ENDCAP, has revealed systemic failures by governments and regulatory authorities to ensure zoos meet their legal obligations to species conservation, education and animal care.
The results of the EU Zoo Inquiry 2011 which, when complete, will include 21 reports can be found at www.euzooinquiry.eu