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Wildlife charity reports inconsistent application of zoos legislation

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A PROJECT undertaken by a wildlife charity to evaluate the implementation and enforcement of EU legislation governing the keeping of wild animals in zoos has found inconsistencies in the application of the legislation and substandard conditions in European zoos, including zoos in the UK.

The project, ‘The EU Zoo Infinity 2011’, was carried out by the Born Free Foundation and ENDCAP, a European coalition of animal welfare NGOs and wildlife professionals. It included a review of national legislation implementing the EU Zoos Directive (1999/22), as well as law enforcement and compliance in 200 zoological collections in 20 EU member states. The Born Free Foundation says in its recently published report on the project that the problems found during its investigation were primarily due to a lack of knowledge and training of enforcement personnel and zoo operators to ensure they understand the legal requirements of the directive. It adds that, as a result of the inquiry, the European Commission has agreed to provide additional training to veterinarians in fundamental and applied animal welfare science, and to develop a best practice zoo guide to assist member states and zoo operators in meeting the legal requirements.

In the foreword to the report, …

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