‘Three-quarters of British zoos, aquariums and petting farms break animal welfare standards, study reveals’

Posted on October 10, 2012

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Today (10th October), a news item was posted on dailymail.co.uk titled ‘Three-quarters of British zoos, aquariums and petting farms break animal welfare standards, study reveals’.

‘… Three-quarters of zoos are breaking animal welfare standards, campaigners have warned.

The first study of its kind found that 76 per cent of zoos, including aquariums, aviaries and petting farms, breached at least one basic requirement regarding health, housing or treatment.

And almost half fell down on at least two counts.

One zoo failed to meet almost half of the 40-plus minimum requirements – which range from animals being given clean water to them having enough space and shelter …

The Born Free Foundation, which commissioned the Bristol University research, said it was ‘greatly disappointed’ to find so many zoos failing to meet standards laid down by the Secretary of State.

Biologist Professor Stephen Harris’s analysis of reports made during official inspections of 192 zoos in Scotland, England and Wales between 2005 and 2008, showed 25 per cent to be breaking standards on the provision of food and water.

This could be because they food was not nutritious enough or not prepared hygienically or because their drinking water was not clean …

Some enclosures were too small or badly maintained and many zoos did not have suitable veterinary facilities, the journal Animals reports.

Petting farms were among the attractions to perform particularly poorly, perhaps because the owners lack expertise in the care of exotic animals.

The analysis also found inspections, which are carried out by Government-appointed experts, to be brief.

Just one lasted more than a day and, in some cases, the inspector fitted more than one zoo into a day’s work …

Overall, just 47 of the 192 zoos were judged to be completely up to scratch.

Will Travers, who founded the Born Free Foundation with his actor parents Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers, said: ‘After nearly 30 years of licensing and regulation the public have a right to expect that zoos in England, Wales and Scotland will not just meet but in many respects exceed the minimum standards required of them by law.

‘I am greatly disappointed to discover that so many zoos in Britain, which are often held up as industry leaders in Europe, appear to be performing so badly in terms of animal welfare.’ …’

Read the item in full, view archive images and add your comment online at www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2215422/Three-quarters-British-zoos-aquariums-petting-farms-break-animal-welfare-standards-study-reveals.html?openGraphAuthor=%2Fhome%2Fsearch.html%3Fs%3D%26authornamef%3DFiona%2BMacrae

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