By Eloise Cockcroft, Mobile Zoo Campaigner

It’s been a busy year so far with our mobile zoo council ban campaign. As well as sending our information pack to every council in the UK, we have reached out to work with several councils more closely to ask them to ban mobile zoos from their land. We have been in touch with councillors from Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield, Cheshire East, Bury and Brighton to ask them to petition their councils to bring in a mobile zoo ban.

With some councils who already banned animal circuses from their land, a mobile zoo ban would extend their circus ban policy. We have also reached out to local animal rights groups for their support. We’ve been working with Greens for Animal Protection and the Association for Green Councillors to widen our impact. The next steps for our campaign include reaching out to other councils who are likely to be sympathetic, such as York, Bristol, Stroud, Norwich and Lambeth.

As part of our campaign we have been debunking myths about the educational value of mobile animal exhibitions, because often they are promoted as 'educational' to schools. However, with often exotic animals petted repeatedly and displayed in barren, highly artificial and stressed conditions in mobile exhibitions, and still facing daily lives of controlled deprivation in mobile zoos when not on the road, this teaches children little about how animals can live and thrive in the wild, or how children could contribute to vital conservation work which protects wild animals in their precious natural habitats. Protecting public health by banning mobile animal exhibitions with their associated risk of disease spread is more important than ever, in the wake of the pandemic.

Although it has been such a difficult year, the campaign is definitely gathering momentum, and we hope to report back with more encouraging news soon!

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