Animal Euthanasia Fears Spark Calls for Government to Support Welsh Zoos

Daily Post (Liverpool, England), May 23, 2020 | Go to article overview

Animal Euthanasia Fears Spark Calls for Government to Support Welsh Zoos


THE Welsh Government has been urged to back zoos and aquariums amid fears the ongoing lockdown could leave them in a "desperate situation" and even having to euthanise animals.

Several Welsh Tory MPs have written to the First Minister urging him to replicate a new scheme set up by the UK Government specifically to protect tourist attractions such as the Anglesey Sea Zoo in Llanfairpwll.

Under the scheme in operation in England, zoos and aquariums are eligible for a welfare grant of up to PS100,000 from a PS14m fund to maintain their stock of animals while they miss out on income from visitors.

But fearing that zoos in Wales are missing out, Anglesey's MP has urged ministers on this side of Offa's Dyke to take immediate action.

"These businesses are located within our constituencies, and are important tourist attractions which provide valuable local jobs," said Virginia Crosbie MP.

"It is vital that they are supported and remain in a position to protect the welfare of animals on site.

"Whilst some of them have received assistance via the Economic Resilience Fund (ERF), this provides only limited support, and unless more funding is received, it may be necessary to close down these important attractions and, as a last resort, euthanise the stock of animals.

"It is hard to conceive of a more heartbreaking eventuality."

She added: "This financial assistance is hugely important, because at a time when these attractions must remain shut and are therefore generating no income, they face ongoing costs.

"These costs include keepers' wages; animal feed and bedding; veterinary care and medicines; electricity and heating; and waste removal."

Frankie Hobro, from Anglesey Sea Zoo, said that while they had received funding from the ERF, it was not a long-term solution. …

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