- Chancellor announced extension of the £100m Zoo Animals Fund for zoos and aquariums
- Association for zoos and aquariums is pleased Government recognises the need to support zoos and aquariums through the crisis
- However, the design of the Zoo Animals Fund requires changes to ensure more zoos get the support they need.
The British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) is pleased Government has announced the extension of the £100m Zoo Animals Fund in England. The extension, announced by the Chancellor in the budget today, came after intense lobbying from BIAZA to ensure continued funding for zoos, aquariums and safari parks.
Dr Jo Judge, Chief Executive of BIAZA: “I am pleased Government continues to recognise the devastating impact of the pandemic on zoos and aquariums, and the continued need to provide support. BIAZA stands ready to work with officials and ministers to ensure the scheme is effective in providing the kind of wide spread support that is so needed.”
The Association is keen to emphasise the continuation of the fund is thanks to the hardworking officials at Defra who have held meetings with BIAZA throughout the pandemic.
However, BIAZA has concerns the design of the Zoo Animals Fund will mean the majority of zoos and aquariums will miss out on funding and important activities such as conservation and education work will not be supported.
Over the seven months since the Zoo Animals Fund was established just 5% of the fund has been spent and only around 10% of the sector supported. BIAZA is calling for adaptations to be made to the scheme to make it more workable for zoos and aquariums across the country.
“It is right that public spending is used to support viable and sustainable businesses through the pandemic. While we appreciate the extension of the Zoo Animals Fund it only covers animal welfare costs. The model of substantial support we see provided to other sectors such as culture and heritage to sustain them until they regain financial stability has not been applied in the case of zoos. Too many zoos and aquariums will have to go without.”
“The work of zoos and aquariums has never been so relevant. As we face an extinction crisis, and as our zoos and aquariums have proven their valuable role in fighting extinction, they must be assisted to continue their critical work” continued Dr Judge.
BIAZA will be pursuing meetings with Government Ministers and continue its call for a Zoo Recovery Fund to support the vital conservation role of zoos and aquariums.
Notes for editors:
For more details please contact:
Andy Hall, BIAZA Communications and Public Affairs Senior Officer