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GOOD NEWS FOR REPTILES AS ZOO PROPOSAL IS SCRAPPED
Posted 27 May 2003
Plans for a new reptile zoo on Gloucester Docks have been scrapped due to pressure from national animal protection groups, Animal Aid and the Captive Animals' Protection Society. The zoo would have housed several species of lizard, snake and alligator in conditions that took even many zoo practices back decades.
Following a reptile exhibition, which took place over the Easter weekend on Gloucester Docks, Animal Aid commissioned The BioVeterinary Group, an independent consultancy, to examine filmed evidence obtained from the event. The South West Regional Development Agency had granted free use of the ground floor of a warehouse to house a variety of pythons, boa constrictors, crocodiles and other reptiles in enclosures that were far from adequate.
The exhibition was viewed as a pilot project, which, if successful, would pave the way for a permanent zoo on the site. This BioVeterinary Group report was submitted to Gloucester City Council and to key officials at the South West Regional Development Agency. Animal Aid then received a letter from the Regional Development Agency stating that they took the "concerns expressed very seriously and ... will not be promoting a permanent facility within our ownership for a reptile exhibition."
Says Elaine Toland of Animal Aid:
"We are delighted that the South West Regional Development Agency has acted on animal welfare and health and safety issues and prevented this project from progressing any further. As well as subjecting the animals to serious stress, this zoo would also have put the visiting public at potential risk, due to the micro-organisms that persist and thrive in stressed reptiles."
The quashing of the Gloucester Zoo proposal means that Animal Aid has, in the last three years, successfully blocked proposals for four reptile zoos in the UK.
Notes to Editors
- For more information contact Elaine Toland on 01732 364546.
- We have an ISDN line for broadcast-quality interviews.
- For further background see our reptile campaign index.