To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent steps he has taken to ensure that his Department’s standards of modern zoo practice include (a) conservation activities on supporting endangered species through the collection of genetic material for research and (b) the provision of formal education sessions..
21 September 2021
Section 1A of the Zoo Licensing Act 1981 currently sets the conservation, research and education requirements that licensed zoos in Great Britain must meet. The Government is proposing, via the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill currently before Parliament, to allow these standards instead to be set in the Secretary of State’s Standards of Modern Zoo Practice (‘the Zoo Standards’). This will mean that they may be updated more easily in future. The Zoo Standards are in the process of being updated by Defra, in consultation with the UK’s Zoos Expert Committee, and will include new conservation, research and education standards in preparation for the new legislation. Defra is aiming to publish a draft of the new Zoo Standards, for a targeted consultation of relevant zoo stakeholders, later this year.