Legislation

In 2002 the European Zoos Directive (pdf) (EC Directive 199/22/EC) on the Keeping of Wild Animals in Zoos came into force. This sets conservation, education and animal welfare standards for all zoos and aquariums in EU countries. Separate legislation has been enacted in each EU member state e.g. Zoo Licensing Act [(Amendment England and Wales) Regulations 2002] in England Scotland and Wales; Zoo Licensing Regulations (NI) 2003 in Northern Ireland; and S.I. No. 440/2003 - European Communities (Licensing and Inspection of Zoos) Regulations 2003 in the Irish Republic.

In England and Wales the Act is regulated by Defra, in Scotland by the Scottish Executive; in Northern Ireland by the Department of the Environment and in the Irish Republic by the Department of Environment Heritage and Local Government. To operate zoos and aquariums have to have a licence, this means that they have to undergo regular inspection by Inspectors from the Secretary of States List. Inspectors follow the Secretary of States Standards of Modern Zoo Practice, (SSSMZP) and similar standards operate in Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

Full details of this legislation is given in The Guide to the Zoo Licensing Act's provisions (pdf) to the Zoo Licensing Act. The Defra website also has very useful information in the zoos section.  This includes a link to the 2012 version of the document Managing Health and Safety in Zoos.

The Zoos Forum was formed in 1988 as an independent advisory body to government on zoo matters. The Forum was established as part of the Government’s proposals to modernise British zoos and ensure that captive wild animals are properly cared for into the next century. In 2010 the Forum became the Zoos Expert Committee (ZEC). The ZEC is composed of people with a broad range of expertise and experience in the world of animal welfare and conservation, from scientists and veterinary surgeons to educators and members of animal conservation institutions. In 2012 the Zoos Expert Committee  produced a Handbook which supplements the SSSMZP with information to help zoos and aquariums achieve the highest standards. This has replaced the Zoos Forum Handbook.

The Association has consistently supported a strong legislative control of zoos and aquariums. BIAZA believes that only through effective legislation can high standards of husbandry and welfare be consistently achieved in collections across the European Union.

The Association will continue to offer its expertise, advice and experience to the on-going debate and formulation of zoo and aquarium policies. Along with the vast majority of the British public the Association shares a vision of zoos and aquariums being centres of excellence, thus making a valuable contribution to the conservation of the natural world. 

For more information on zoo legisation in other parts of the world visit the Zoo Outreach website

Click here to view legislative guidance documents.




Text size A A A

T +44 (0) 20 7449 6599
E admin@biaza.org.uk

Wildwood Trust desperately need help to raise £50,000 to rescue two brown bears from horrendous living conditions in Bulgaria and bring them to a new home within the ancient woodland at Wildwood.

More

Sir David Attenborough launched the 2014 Big Butterfly count at WWT’s London Wetland Centre last week and your local WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre is inviting you to come along to help count a million butterflies across the country.

More

The Great Bustard (the heaviest flying animal alive today) was once very much part of the British wildlife but sadly this spectacular bird was hunted to extinction in this country by the 1840's.

More

Bookmark and Share