Cookie use on MRCVSonline
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
 
 
Send Cancel

Mobile zoos to face new regulations
The RSPCA said it is particularly worried about the use of animals such as meerkats, raccoons and raccoon dogs at children’s parties.
Defra says such zoos will require a licence 

Mobile zoos that provide exotic animals for parties or educational purposes, will require a licence under new legislation to come into force next year.

Defra has confirmed it will update England’s existing legislation on registering performing animals, to clarify that it covers all animals that are exhibited to the public. This includes mobile zoos, which are not covered by the Zoo Licensing Act.

From next year, anyone in the business of providing an animal for exhibit will need a licence from their local authority, and must adhere to statutory minimum welfare standards, which Defra is developing alongside the sector and animal welfare charities.

Animal performances such as dancing dog entertainment acts are also included in the legislation. Wild animals in circuses and static zoos, on the other hand, are covered by a different law.

The changes will be made under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, as part of wider reforms to the pet licensing controls. They will replace the existing registration process under the Performing Animals (Regulation) Act 1925, which requires ‘performing’ animals to be registered with the local authority.

Speaking to the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme, the RSPCA said it is concerned that animals are being inappropriately kept and handled. It is particularly worried about the use of animals such as meerkats, raccoons and raccoon dogs at children’s parties.

Ros Clubb told the programme: “They have specific needs, for example being kept in a group. They’re wild animals, they’re not used to being handled.”

She also has concerns about “animals being stacked up in inappropriate boxes and enclosures, and taken to places for display and for handing round again and again potentially in the same day.”

Some exotic animals may also pose a risk to children through bites and scratches, or even zoonotic diseases such as salmonella.

The charity urged parents to think carefully before booking a mobile zoo for their child’s party. 

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

Giraffe Conservation Foundation named BVNA’s charity of the year

News Story 1
 BVNA president Wendy Nevins has named The Giraffe Conservation Foundation as the association’s charity of the year for 2017/2018.

The Giraffe Conservation Foundation dedicates its work to a sustainable future for wild giraffe populations. Wendy Nevins said: ‘I have chosen the Giraffe Conservation Foundation for the BVNA Charity of the Year because I have always thought Giraffes were magnificent animals.

‘I also think it is important that we look at the wider issue of conservation and education across all species.’  

News Shorts
Scientists win award for openness in animal research

UK scientists have won an award for the 360ş Laboratory Animal Tours project, which offered the public an online, interactive tour of four research facilities that are usually restricted access.

The project won a public engagement award at the Understanding Animal Research (UAR) Openness Awards, which recognise UK research facilities for transparency on their use of animals in research, as well as innovation in communicating with the public.

The tour was created by the Pirbright Institute, the University of Oxford, the University of Bristol and MRC Harwell Institute.