TAKE ACTION FOR CAPTIVE WILD ANIMALS: UK

You should never underestimate your power to help captive wild animals in need. By voicing your concerns directly, you could make a real difference.

Below you will find suggestions on who you can contact to raise your concerns, plus links to their contact details. Scroll down for guidance on what you could say in your letters or emails.

 

  WHO TO CONTACT:

      CAPTIVE FACILITY OR 'ATTRACTION'  

It is important that the zoo or captive animal 'attraction' hears directly from their concerned customers & international tourists.

Many places claim that they never receive any complaints about the treatment of their animals, so please make your concerns known.

         LOCAL AUTHORITY          

Local authorities (Councils) are responsible for licensing zoos, pet shops, & other facilities that keep wild animals.

You can find the right local authority to contact at www.gov.uk/find-local-council. Search using the facility’s postcode or town. .

 NATIONAL ZOO ASSOCIATION      

The British & Irish Association of Zoos & Aquariums (BIAZA) is an industry body claiming to represent the 'best zoos & aquariums in the UK'. 

If you have visited a BIAZA member zoo, raise your concerns. Find a member & their contact details.

 

 UK PARLIAMENTARY REPRESENTATIVE
 

If you are concerned about a zoo or other captive wild animals in your local area, write to your district or county councillors. 

If you are concerned about the zoo licensing & inspection process in the UK, please write to your Member of Parliament.

You can find the contact details for your UK parliamentary representatives at www.writetothem.com.

      NEWS & MEDIA OUTLETS       
 

Contact local and/or national newspapers & online news sites to report your eyewitness concerns & encourage them to publish an associated story. 

Sending accompanying photos &/or videos of the animals involved may be helpful in evoking their potential interest in covering your story.

        WRITE A REVIEW                 
 

Online review sites, such as Trip Advisor, are a great source of information & useful for raising awareness of problems at captive facilities & locations around the world. If possible, also post photos to support your review.

If the option exists, writing a review & providing constructive feedback on a captive facility's or 'attraction's' website is also great at spreading the word.

  WHAT TO WRITE:

The most effective emails or letters are usually short and concise. Around 300 words should be adequate to relay your comments and concerns. Be specific about why you are writing and what concerns you have. Did you visit the facility with your family or friends? Did you pay an entry fee or buy a ticket? If you did, you have the right to raise your concerns about the welfare of the animals you encountered. 

Please be polite and courteous. You are less likely to receive an answer if you rant or are rude. You want the people you are writing to, to take you seriously.

POINTS TO INCLUDE:

  • The date of your visit.
  • Where you saw the animals, the name of the facility and its location.
  • What you personally witnessed, including what animals you saw or are concerned about.
  • Describe the conditions the wild animals were in or how the animals were treated. 
  • Explain if the animals were being made to perform tricks and what they were doing.
  • Describe your feelings at the time.
  • Ask direct questions that require an answer, such as:
     - Can you assure me that my concerns will be investigated?
     - Are you aware this activity is going on?
     - What are the laws concerning the welfare of animals in zoos and at events etc? 
  • You could ask the relevant Local Authority to see a copy of the zoo’s most recent inspection report.
  • You could ask the relevant Local Authority whether an activity you have seen involving the use or 'exhibition' of a captive animal requires a licence under performing animal/welfare regulations, and if so whether the people involved have such a licence.
  • If you have images to support your concerns, include them with your letter or email.
  • Ask for a reply and give your contact details.
Please send Born Free copies of any replies you receive, either by email or to our UK office (marked FAO Captivity department).
 

For more guidance in relation to raising your concerns about captive animals when travelling internationally, please visit: TAKE ACTION: CAPTIVE ANIMALS - GLOBAL

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