Why it matters The animals Mobile zoos Transportation, Handling and Stress for Animals Kids' parties and schools often see someone turning up with an array of animals. From reptiles to insects, rabbits, meerkats, birds of prey and many more. It all looks fun and harmless at first glance. But sadly the often wild animals live an unnatural and stressful life. Similar to a life in the circus, the animals can travel hours to events where they will be used to entertain. The animals are transported in carriers to events, often on a daily basis, where they can be handled by reaching hands for hours on end. Wild animals are stressed by handling and even when put back in their temporary enclosure, they have nowhere to hide from the busy crowds, noises and lights. Unable to run free, this is the sad existence for a wild animal trapped in a mobile zoo. It is not just exotic animals that are at risk. Domesticated animals who are naturally timid, such as rabbits or guinea pigs, can also suffer stress due to repeated handling or as a result of introduction to noisy and crowded environments. There are currently hundreds of mobile zoos using thousands of individual animals. Ever since a whistleblower contacted us about a mobile zoo with serious welfare concerns we have campaigned for an end to mobile zoos. Now, we regularly receive complaints about mobile zoos; enclosures stacked up in houses or a back garden; baby animals taken from their mums for handling experiences; wild animals kept in bare, tiny enclosures. The exploitation is so unnecessary. And we are doing all we can to stop it. If you are a parent or teacher you can read more in-depth information on our campaign here and access resources for your school or child. Licensing In 2018, instead of banning such activities, the government introduced a licensing regime, the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018. Anyone who displays or exhibits animals for commercial purposes in England must obtain a license from the relevant local authority. This includes mobile zoos, bird of prey displays and exhibitions. License holders are inspected every one to three years, depending on the local authority and the level of risk identified. In Scotland businesses must register with the local authority under the Performing Animals (Regulation) Act 1925. Freedom for Animals does not believe licensing such activities work as they do not address the serious animal welfare issues. The inspection regimes are inconsistent between local authorities, with some seeing licensing as a tick-boxing exercise with inspectors (often an environmental health officer) not qualified to understand the welfare and behavioural needs of the animals they are inspecting. What can you do? Report it! We need your help to report mobile zoos to us! If you see a company advertised or see them appearing at an event, the information can be really helpful in the campaign. You can report it to us here: REPORT IT You can also contact your local authority to check if a mobile zoo in your area is licensed and report it if it is not. It is a requirement for license holders to display their license in a prominent position, for the public to see. Ban it! You can also contact your local councillors and ask them to consider introducing a motion to prohibit mobile zoos from using publically owned land. Promote it! Raise awareness for animals in mobile zoos by ordering our free campaign leaflets. Fuel the fight! You can make a donation to help us further expose mobile zoo cruelty and fight for animal freedom. What is Freedom for Animals doing? Freedom for Animals has been investigating mobile zoos and has been campaigning for local authorities to ban them from publicly owned land, including schools. This project is ongoing but preliminary data obtained via the Freedom of Information Act has shown that there are at least 200 licensed mobile zoos in England. We are still working on this data and expect the number of licensed activities in our database to rise as we hear from the remaining local authorities. This number does not include those mobile zoos that are not licensed. This is something we are looking at as part of our work so will update the figure as we go. We also believe that many of the businesses that exhibit wild animals that have been licensed under the above legislation fall under the Zoo Licensing Act. We are raising awareness about animals in mobile zoos through social media, our website and school talks. We are providing resources to oppose the use of mobile zoos. We have carried out two rounds of extensive research which has provided solid evidence to Governments showing the scale of the problem We are investigating and monitoring mobile zoos around the UK We are working at Government level to encourage new legislation covering mobile zoos.