Romania joined the European Union on the 1st Jan 2007, and it is now required to adhere to the terms of the EU Zoo Directive. The Directive requires all zoos to meet minimum standards in animal welfare and husbandry and to demonstrate a commitment to conservation of biodiversity and public education. Most of the 36 zoos in Romania fall way below these standards.
For many of the animals in Romania’s zoos the situation is very bleak indeed. Animals are often kept in incredibly small, barren enclosures, devoid of vegetation, with no shelter or places to seek refuge. The majority face an uncertain future.
There are indications that the Romanian authorities are taking this issue seriously – which is welcome news. The Born Free Foundation is working with the Romanian Association for the Protection of Animals (APAR) to help draw up feasible solutions for the closure of zoos to minimize suffering, while at the same time reducing the number of zoos.
The Born Free Foundation wishes to thank the Mail on Sunday and its readers for their generosity in making this project possible.