Fears for British Zoos

World Grigory Matyunin 08-Jun-2020
royal bengal tiger
Hodenhagen, Germany - August 17, 2009: Bengal tiger in Serengeti Park, zoo and leisure park in Hodenhagen in North Germany

The British government has been urged to protect the nation’s zoos which are not permitted to reopen until next month at the earliest. Fears are emerging about their future amidst the lockdown imposed to curtail the spread of coronavirus. There are concerns that some zoos may be closed permanently with animals being put down.

Lord Goldsmith held consultations with MPs regarding the future viability of Chester Zoo, one of Britain’s foremost tourist attractions.

141 zoos and aquariums throughout the country attract thousands of visitors each day in normal times. Classed as ‘outdoor ticketed leisure venues’, they will not be allowed to welcome visitors until July at the earliest.

Andrew Rosindell, the Conservative chairman of the all-party Parliamentary group on zoos, has said “It is extremely serious. We are facing the prospect of zoos permanently closed, animals euthanised and huge amounts of vital work in terms of conservation, protection of endangered species, and education being lost.”

Meanwhile, The Telegraph has cited a source in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs stating, “work is ongoing to understand how and when zoos and aquariums may be able to reopen in a safe way to the public whilst maintaining social distancing”.