UK ZOO LEGISLATION: TAKE ACTION
Born Free believes the Zoo Licensing Act 1981 requires immediate revision and improvement, specifically to strengthen the conservation and financial criteria against which zoos are assessed.
With the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill being dropped by the UK government, we are calling for the government to fulfil its commitments within DEFRA’s Action Plan for Animal Welfare so that zoo legislation and accompanying standards ensure more stringent and meaningful conservation criteria are required of zoos. Such criteria, which all zoos should be required to meet, must be transparent, meaningful, measurable and in the public domain.
The majority of species held by UK zoos are not threatened with extinction, financial contributions to in situ conservation are a small fraction of what zoos are spending on new exhibits and the conservation measures required of zoos lack the criteria to ensure real conservation benefits.
It is also clear that zoos were financially unprepared for long-term closure as experienced during COVID-19. The creation of a Zoo Insurance Bond is urgently needed to ensure the care and welfare of animals at a zoo which is forced to close, and, where closed permanently, their humane dispersal to other appropriate facilities during what could be a protracted winding-up period;
Below you will find a number of actions you can take to help resolve the situation.