The minister for charities, Angela Smith has called for a national debate on zoo closure and stated that zoos are "relics of the Victorian era" and that it was "inappropriate to keep wild animals in captivity in this way". She believes that zoos are cruel, outdated and ought to be banned. This is rich coming from a woman who actually refused to attend a meeting recently because it was held within London zoo. As a CAPS member one wonders just when it was that she actually visited a zoo. She is yet another one of these people who is branding all zoos as one and the same. There are good zoos and bad zoos in the same way as there are good hotels and bad hotels, or meat pies or apples. You simply cannot judge all based on the actions or qualities of a few.
I have visited a lot of zoos and would be the first to admit there are zoos that I would like to see closed tomorrow. None of these are in the UK however. In my years in zoos I have seen those in Britain improve and go from strength to strength till today we have some of the finest, watched over by the best legislation and animals cared for by experienced and dedicated caring staff.
I don't judge my zoos by big flashy and commercial because often all they are concerned about is profit. Zoos in Britain are amongst the best in the world.
Happily the present government has stated that Angela Smiths views are personal and that the subject is outside of her remit. There are no plans to discuss zoo closures. Angela Smith needs to take off her CAPS blinkers and work as a zoo volunteer for six months or so. She should see the work of zoos from the inside, experience the caring and she will actually come to realise that zoos, in Britain at least, are Not cruel.