Teresa Allden

Massive cross-party support for zoo conservation

Posted: 26th October, 2021

Yesterday (25 October), saw the second reading of the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill in Westminster, during which MPs from across the aisle spoke in favour of zoo-based conservation in a show of support for the sector.  

Multiple MPs from four different political parties demonstrated overwhelming cross-party support for the work of UK zoos and aquariums and ensured that zoos were mentioned 140 times, more than any other topic within the debate.  


Led by members of the APPG for Zoos and Aquariums, including Andrew Rosindell, Sarah Champion, Dr Luke Evans and David Jones, MPs sought assurances from the Government that the measures in the Kept Animals Bill would support and enhance the work of good zoos and aquariums. A number of other MPs also spoke out for good zoos and aquariums, including Sarah Owen, Jim Shannon and Dr Lisa Cameron.  


BIAZA has welcomed the Kept Animals Bill which proposes a number of positive measures for animal welfare and conservation. This includes ending puppy smuggling, banning primates as pets and ending the live exports of farm animals for slaughter. The provisions for zoos and aquariums will see the 1981 Zoo Licensing Act amended to enable Ministers to set conservation standards in the Secretary of State Standards for Modern Zoo Practice to which zoos and aquariums must then adhere to as part of their licensing.  


Dr Jo Judge, CEO of BIAZA said: “Ministers can be in no doubt that MPs want this bill to succeed in supporting and taking further the brilliant conservation work of zoos. Last night MPs from across the political divide stood up to talk about everything from elephant conservation at ZSL Whipsnade to the reintroduction of endangered antelopes by Marwell Zoo.” 


“I look forward to pressing ahead with this Bill, working closely with Ministers and Defra officials as the Bill makes its way through the committee stages, and to demonstrating the world-leading conservation work of UK zoos and aquariums.” 

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