New Zoo Inquiry report reveals shortcomings in German zoos

On 07/06/2013, in All posts, by Animal Welfare Intergroup

zoosOn Wednesday 5th June, Michael Cramer MEP (Greens/EFA, DE) has presented the results of a new report on the enforcement of the Zoo Directive in Germany which is part of a general EU Zoo Inquiry. This event has been organized in association with Animal Public, the Bund gegen den Missbrauch der Tiere and the Born Free Foundation.

The comprehensive report reveals the inconsistent application and enforcement of the EC Zoos Directive (1999/22), the national zoo law (BNatSchG) and the German Animal Protection law (TierSchG) by Federal State Competent Authorities causing substandard conditions and unnecessary animal suffering in many German zoos.

Commitment to species conservation appears minimal with the majority of species in the zoos assessed being of low conservation significance (2% of the species are classified as Critically Endangered (IUCN)). Furthermore, only 12% of the total number of species kept, appear to be actively participating in European Species Management Programmes (EEPs) or (ESBs).

Public education seems also limited, with a lack of species information as well missing references to species conservation in the signage.

Many of the zoos offer the public direct contact with animals and, in some cases, with potentially dangerous animals. It appears that animals are used in performances which go against their natural behaviour. Daniel Turner, Project Manager of The EU Zoo Inquiry expressed his hope that this report will incite the public authorities to prohibit such practices but also to upgrade and improve German Zoo legislation.

The EU Zoo Inquiry is the most comprehensive investigation into the licensing and performance of zoos in the European Union. The project, which evaluated the implementation and enforcement of the EC Directive 1999/22, relating to the keeping of animals in zoos, has investigated zoo regulation in 21 countries and legal compliance in a total of 200 zoos. Overall findings indicate the systemic failure of governments, competent authorities and enforcement agencies to ensure that European zoos meet their legal obligations.

 Photo courtesy animal public zoo 010


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