1 May 2012
Following the success of the EU Zoo Inquiry exhibition at the European Parliament last week, an oral question was tabled in response to the overall findings ofthe EU Zoo Inquiry to ask what steps the Commission is taking to ensure a more effective implementation of the EU Zoo Directive.
ALDE MEP Chris Davies (Liberal Democrats, UK), who tabled the oral question in the Environment Committee, said:
"We have many excellent zoos but also hundreds that make no contribution towards the protection of species and where animals are kept in miserable conditions. The problem stems more from ignorance than cruelty.
"No one wants to see animals that are suffering. The Born Free Foundation has identified the extent of the failures and we must now work to ensure that standards in zoos everywhere are raised to match those of the best."
ALDE MEP Bill Newton-Dunn (Liberal Democrats, UK), who hosted the EU Zoo Inquiry Exhibition in the European Parliament, added:
"The three year intensive research by the Born Free Foundation has shown the urgent need to raise the standards of many of our zoos not only in terms of improved living conditions for animals but also with regard to education and conservation. There is a real case for facilitating the exchange of best practices across Europe and for modernising the law."
Daniel Turner, spokesperson for the EU Zoo Inquiry (commissioned by The Born Free Foundation and ENDCAP) said:
“We have been very clear that The EU Zoo Inquiry is the first step towards positive change. We hope to secure the support of Member State Governments, together with that of the European Commission, to ensure enforcement agencies have the means to effectively enforce the law. Many animals in European zoos are suffering needlessly, and without assistance from the European Community the shameful problems we have found are likely to continue.”
The European Commission welcomed the work of the Born Free Foundation and announced that it was to prepare a Code of Best Practice for zoos across Europe.
The following link will take you to an overview of the project and a short film (6 minutes), which was shown at the event, and describes the overall project and its outcomes:www.euzooinquiry.eu
For your information, there are more details on the EU Zoo Inquiry REPORT FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS here.
The Born Free Foundation would like to thank the European Commission, ALDE and particularly MEPs, Bill Newton Dunn, Chris Davies, Julie Girling, Daciana Octavia Sarbu, Keith Taylor and Jill Evans for their on-going support.
While the Born Free Foundation seeks to phase out zoos in favour of keeping wildlife in the wild, it is recognised that there is the need in the short to medium term to eradicate unnecessary suffering.