Crack down on animal misery in UK zoos

  • by: Frances D
  • recipient: Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs The Rt Hon Andrea Leadsom MP, United Kingdom

A furry brown macaque monkey, its pink face surprisingly human-looking, is curled up next to a fence. Its hand is tucked under its cheek. Trapped in a small enclosure of rocks and dirty wooden structures, it is clearly miserable.

You can't free it. You can only stare. Does this sound like a fun day out?

This despondent barbary macaque is one of many animals depicted in the Born Free Foundation's shocking collection of images. Their new exhibition lays bare the needless misery suffered by many zoo animals.

Keith Taylor, the Green Party's animals spokesperson, said that the exhibition highlighted the ''urgent'' need to improve conditions and enforce existing laws.

Please sign this petition to demand that Defra enforce existing legislation that requires that animals have their unique needs met.

Specifically, Defra must ensure their appointed Zoo Inspectors enforce the Zoo Licensing Act 1981 and the Secretary of State's Standards of Modern Zoo Practice. Proper enforcement will ensure all animals are kept in environments that meet the needs of their species.

If enough people sign, it will send a clear message that the UK public wants humane zoos that give animals the space, stimulation and comforts they require to have a happy life.

The Rt Hon Andrea Leadsom MP:


A recent exhibition by the Born Free Foundation highlighted the needless suffering of zoo animals both across Europe and here in the UK. 


There is existing legislation to ensure the wellbeing of zoo animals, but it is not being enforced consistently.


Defra must ensure their appointed Zoo Inspectors enforce the Zoo Licensing Act 1981 and the Secretary of State’s Standards of Modern Zoo Practice. Proper enforcement will ensure all animals are kept in environments that meet the needs of their species.


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