HC Deb 19 October 1994 vol 248 cc262-3W
Mr. Morley

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the zoos refused a licence on welfare grounds in each year since 1984, together with subsequent Government actions.

Mr. Sir Paul Beresford

This information is not held centrally since zoo licensing and inspection under the Zoo Licensing Act 1981 is the responsibility of district councils in England.

The Act provides for inspections of the premises by inspectors appointed by the Secretary of State, and the local authority has powers to refuse to grant a licence if it is not satisfied that the standards of accommodation, staffing or management are adequate for the proper care and well-being of the zoo animals.

If, following an inspection, a zoo is refused a licence, the authority concerned would normally give reasons for refusal. An establishment refused a licence would not be able to operate as a zoo, and would subsequently be granted a licence only if it was able to rectify any deficiencies identified by the local authority. Enforcement of animal welfare legislation is the responsibility of the police and local authorities.

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