On 2nd February 2011, the Born Free Foundation, in association with the European coalition, ENDCAP, will launch an initial tranche of reports which evaluate the status and performance of zoos in Europe. A total of 22 reports will be produced reviewing the situation in 20 individual countries.
Importantly, after the briefing, a new website – www.euzooinquiry.eu – will go live which will have further details of this major project and will chart its progress toward completion.
There are millions of animals in zoos throughout Europe, suffering needlessly in conditions that range from poor to appalling. The EU has recognised the significance of this issue by legislating to establish minimum standards in zoos, which were introduced back in 2002. However, evidence suggests that many European zoos are failing to meet these basic standards and to attain the required level of commitment to species conservation. Many of these problems are avoidable as they are the result of a lack of knowledge, skills and trained staff.
The reports will pave the way for better implementation of the EC Zoos Directive at both Community and State level in more than 4,000 European zoos. They provide essential evidence of the current situation and are the basis on which the Commission and Competent Authorities can act to ensure conditions improve and that zoos meet their species-conservation obligations.