HC Deb 18 July 2000 vol 354 c134W
Mr. Hancock

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many zoos within the UK use(a) electric goads and (b) other weapons to discipline animals; and if he will make a statement. [130486]

Mr. Mullin

The information requested is not held centrally.

Responsibility for the licensing of zoos under the Zoo Licensing Act 1981 rests with local authorities. Inspectors, appointed by the Secretary of State, assist local authorities in reaching their decisions.

Statutory guidance to inspectors is given in the "Revised Secretary of State's Standards of Modern Zoo Practice", which came into effect on 3 April 2000. The revised Standards require that handling must be done with care in order to protect an animal's well being, and avoid unnecessary discomfort, stress or physical harm. Appendix 7 further advises that training methods should be based on positive reinforcement and that if negative reinforcement is used, it must never compromise the welfare of the animal.