Zoological Collections - Zoo Legislation


Zoo Licensing Act 1981

  • all zoos required to hold a license
  • All UK Zoos have to demonstrate an active involvement in conservation and/or research that furthers the aims of zoo conservation. They must also demostrate active involvement in educational programmes designed to raise public awareness about conservation issues.
  • The ZLA defines a zoo as 'a place where non-domestic animals are kept and which is open to the public at least 7 days of the year'. It excludes pet shops, circuses and animals kept privately.
  • Zoos must be regularly inspected
    • at least once per year
  • include provision for the closure of zoos and disposal of surplus animals
  • zoos must keep adequate records, prevent escapes and maintain a safe environment for animals and humans
  • during the six-year lifespan of the license, two of the annual inspections should be Secretary of State Inspections 
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  • Secretary of State's Standards of Modern Zoo Practice
  • specifies minimum standards that zoos in England are expected to meet
  • informs zoos about what the UK Government considers best practice
  • sets standards for:
    • conservation and education
    • transport
    • public facilities
    • staff and training
    • stock records
    • public safety
  • Five 'principles'
    • protection from fear and distress
    • express natural behaviour
    • animal health care
    • suitable environment
    • food and water
  • Gives categories to animals
    • Category 1 - Great Risk (e.g., wolves, big cats, elephants, rhinoceros)
    • Category 2 - Less Risk
    • Category 3 - Least Risk
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Pet Animals Act 1951

  • protection from disease and fire
  • any establishment that sells animals
  • protects the welfare of animals sold as pets
  • AWA being followed before license given
  • prevents pets being sold in the street
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Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976

  • regulates the keeping of certain kinds of dangerous wild animals
  • list of animals given
  • no person may keep any dangerous wild animals except under license granted by a local authority
  • zoos, circuses and pet shops are exempt
  • amended in 2010
  • minimise risk to the public
  • includes: marsupials, primates, sloths, porcupines, carnivores (Carnivora), elephants, tapirs, aardvark, antelope, giraffe, cassowaries, alligators, gila monster, brown recluse spiders and buthid scorpions 
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  • works with 194 member states
  • manage public risk of zoonosis
  • develop and promote ways to prevent and control zoonosis
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Universal health coverage:
    • primary health care
    • improve access to essential medicines
    • sustainable financing and financial protection 
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COTES 2018

  • The penalties for breaching offences relating to those controls
  • the Control of Trade in Endangered Species Regulations
  • Controls on the placse through which endangered species may be imported/exported
  • delivers its obligations rising from CITES
  • controls on the sale, keeping and movement of such species
  • example: illegal to forge documents
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Import of Live Fish Act 1980

  • authorised by the Fish Health Inspectorate to import
  • restrict in England and Wales the import, keeping or release of live fish or shellfish or the live eggs or milt of fish or shellfish of certain species
  • prevents invasive species and disease
  • covers all reasons for importing fish
  • even stricter for non-native fish
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BALAI Directive

  • Approved in 2002
  • governs the transport of non-domestic animals between EU member states, with respect to veterinary screening and animal health
  • governs the movement of live animals, semen, ova and embryos
  • non-BALAI approved premises in Europe can no longer import or export any primate species, and approval from the State Veterinary Service must be sought before any other species are transported to a non-BALAI approved zoo
  • new animals from non-BALAI approved zoos ust go into a 30-day isolation in an approved zoo
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