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Jean Lambert London's Green MEP

Green MEP calls for improved standards in Europe’s zoos

Green MEP for London, Jean Lambert, has expressed concern at the findings of a new report which reveals that many of Europe’s zoos are failing to meet basic standards of animal welfare and conservation despite the introduction of the EC Zoos Directive in 2002

The EU Zoo Inquiry 2011, launched by conservation charity Born Free, has to date evaluated over 200 zoos in 21 member states to assess their compliance with national and European law.  Preliminary findings of the inquiry show that the 2002 directive is not being effectively implemented and enforced in the majority of EU Member States, with many zoos keeping their animals in substandard and inadequate conditions.

Since 2005, all zoos in the majority of EU Member States are required to meet the basic requirements of the EC Zoos Directive and through the licensing and inspection of zoos, to adopt a series of measures into national law that oblige zoos to conserve bio-diversity, educate the public and maintain their animals in conditions that meet their specific needs.

Jean said: “Sadly, the results of the EU Zoo Inquiry are anything but encouraging.  Not one of the twenty countries investigated are meeting all their legal obligations as set out in the EC Zoos Directive. The European Union acts as a standard bearer for countries overseas and how we treat our animals should be no exception.  

“Zoos that are failing to provide even the most basic standards of animal welfare are illegal and should be closed.  I urge the European Commission to take this issue seriously and do more to ensure that Member States are complying with the legal requirements.” 

Notes to Editors

1. To learn more about the EU Zoo Inquiry 2011 please visit: