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

Zoos and safari parks in England set to reopen
"We are looking forward to connecting people with nature again"  - Kathryn England, ZSL London Zoo.

Reopening 'by no means an easy fix' warns ZSL London Zoo. 

The Government has announced the reopening of zoos and safari parks in England from Monday (15 June).

Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated that the attractions could reopen again, as long as inside exhibitions remain closed and that social distancing measures are adhered to.

The announcement follows fears that some zoos may not survive if lockdown continued into the summer months, and that animals may even need to be euthanised.

A Number 10 spokesperson commented: “People are continuing to make huge sacrifices to reduce the spread of coronavirus and avoid a second spike, but we know it is tough and where we can safely open up more attractions, and it is supported by the science, we will do so.

“This is by necessity a careful process, but we hope the reopening of safari parks and zoos will help provide families with more options to spend time outdoors, while supporting the industry caring for these incredible animals.”

The Government had previously stated that wildlife parks and zoos must remain closed for the foreseeable future. But extensive campaigning, supported by local councils and MPs, forced a U-turn on that position.

Welcoming the news, Kathryn England ZSL London Zoo’s chief operating officer, said: “We’re delighted that we can once again welcome visitors to ZSL London Zoo. We’ve gone to great lengths to make the Zoo a welcoming and safe space for people to visit, including installing additional hand sanitation points and creating colourful one-way wildlife walks across our 36-acre grounds - ensuring visitors can experience the natural world while observing social distancing.
 
“After weeks of behind-the-scenes work - painting route markers and putting up more than 2,000 new directions and signs - we’re looking forward to connecting people with nature again, a mission that has been the beating heart of ZSL for nearly 200 years.”

But although the news is cause for celebration, ZSL stressed that it does not mark the end of their fundraising efforts. The increased safety measures will mean that London Zoo will be offering pre-allocated, timed entry slots, limited to just 2,000 visitors a day - well below the numbers needed to recoup the charity’s costs.
 
Director general Dominic Jermey said: “Reopening is an important step towards securing ZSL’s future but is by no means an instant fix. We rely heavily on zoo ticket sales to fund our vital conservation work, and after months of enforced closure we still urgently need support.
 
“We battened down the hatches to weather the storm - furloughing staff and cutting costs wherever possible - but our animals, many of which are threatened in the wild, need the same outstanding level of animal care whether we are open or closed."

His words were echoed by Dr Christoph Schwitzer, chair of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA), who added that members in other nations remain under lockdown.

"We will continue to make our case across the nations as well as pushing for urgent financial aid to be made available from Governments. We are not out of the woods yet," he said.

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

Defra extends applications to Zoo Animals Fund

News Story 1
 Defra has extended the deadline for applications for the 100 Million Zoo Animals Fund until 26 February 2021.

Launched in June 2020, the fund provides financial support for zoos and aquariums that have experienced a drop in income caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Grants of up to 730,000 are available, which can be used to pay for essential costs and maintenance, including veterinary care, medicines, animal feed and staffing.

More information about the fund and details of how to apply can be found here

Click here for more...
News Shorts
APHA confirms eighth case of highly pathogenic avian influenza in England

The Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA) has identified an eighth case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N8 in poultry in England.

Confirmed on Tuesday (15 December), the outbreak was found in captive birds and poultry at a premises near Willington, South Derbyshire. A 3km Protection Zone and a 10km Surveillance Zone have been placed around the infected premises to limit the risk of the disease spreading.

Further information about the outbreaks and the latest government advice can be found at gov.uk