By Sam Threadgill, Director

We've been very busy behind the scenes here at Freedom for Animals working on our campaign against the mobile zoo industry. We estimate that around 187 mobile zoos are in existence throughout the UK, with thousands of individuals languishing in people's houses and garden sheds.

Prior to the Wild Animals in Circuses Act 2019 and the Wild Animals and Circuses (Wales) Act 2020 coming into effect last year, Freedom for Animals, along with the help of many campaigners, managed to secure over 200 local authority bans on wild animal circuses. This huge achievement helped pave the way towards bringing in the legislation outlawing displaying wild animals in travelling circuses - a huge step forwards to banning animal circuses altogether.

However, many of the welfare and ethical problems associated with animals circuses are inherent within the mobile zoos industry. In mobile zoos animals often travel for hours on end confined in tiny plastic boxes, are handled by the public in very stressful environments only to return to their small and highly unnatural enclosures where they are kept.

Indeed, an independent report on 'the welfare of wild animals in travelling circuses' found that...

Life for wild animals in travelling circuses and mobile zoos does not appear to constitute either a ‘good life’ or a ‘life worth living’.

The needs for an urgent ban on mobile zoos are threefold:

1. Animal Welfare: Animals held within mobile zoos and used for exhibition are forced to endure lives of deprivation, and their welfare needs are inevitably compromised.

2. Health and Safety: The level of risk to public health through potential disease outbreaks and possible injuries presented by mobile animal exhibits is significant. Introducing a farmal ban on mobile zoos is the only effective way to properly safeguard the health and safety of the public attending such events.

3. Environmental Problems: The mobile zoo and exotic pet industry are linked to the extremely exploitative global wildlife trade which is having a destructive impact on specific species of conservation concern, along with the ecosystems in which they live. Illegal releasses and accidental escapes of exotic animals into the countryside also pose a serious threat to the UK's native wildlife.

It is because of the suffering mobile zoos cause to animals, together with the associated zoonotic disease risk and environmental issues, that Freedom for Animals is encouraging councils to adopt policies that prohibit the such events on their land.

Over the past few weeks, we've sent out copies of our information pack to 70 councils, and another 247 local authorities will be receiving our pack very shortly! We're also working closely with a select few local authorities to persuade them to take this important step towards a better world for animals.

Keep a close eye on our social media and our website! We hope to share further news about this campaign in the near future!

Please support our vital campaigns for animals caught in captivity by making a donation!

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