BORN FREE REACTS TO UK GOVERNMENT’S £14M SUPPORT PACKAGE FOR ZOOS
Reacting to the news that zoos and aquaria in England are to receive a £14m support package from the UK government to protect them during the coronavirus pandemic, Dr Chris Draper, Born Free’s Head of Animal Welfare & Captivity, said: “Among its impacts, the coronavirus situation cannot be allowed to cause captive wild animals to suffer. Zoos are primarily commercial, and the lockdown means that visitor income has disappeared.
“Emergency government funding to cover animal feed, basic care and veterinary treatment is the right thing to do under the circumstances. However, it is vital that these funds are not misused to prolong the inevitable, where failing zoos close in, say, 12 months rather than in the next three; in such cases, the funds must be used now to find new homes for the animals.”