EU Zoo Directive Good Practices document finally published!
The Good Practices document has been awaited for a long time and Eurogroup together with the European Parliament’s Intergroup for the Welfare and Conservation of the Animals recently called for its immediate publication as the delays had been unacceptable and animals were suffering everyday as a consequence.
The Council Directive 1999/22/EC (known as the “Zoo Directive”) constitutes a key piece of legislation for the management of wild animals in captivity by establishing a compulsory and centrally regulated licensing of zoo facilities in all EU Member States, which are responsible for applying the provisions of the Zoo Directive and ensuring the necessary enforcement.
Since the publication of the Directive, several good practice approaches have been developed to assist Zoos in strengthening their contribution to biodiversity conservation, including initiatives such as those of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA). Building on this experience, in 2012 the Commission launched a study with the view of sharing experience and good practice for the implementation of the Zoo Directive by practitioners and Member States. This study involved consultation with experts and practitioners in different Member States, with different representative bodies concerned with Zoos and several animal welfare NGOs, including Eurogroup for Animals and the findings have long been awaited.
The published Good Practices document reports on the findings of this study and aims to summarize the current state of knowledge and highlight good practices to support practitioners and Member States with a view to helping them achieve the overall objective of strengthening the role of zoos in the conservation of biodiversity.
Eurogroup for Animals hopes that the Commission will now also undertake the necessary actions in monitoring the correct implementation of the legislation and opening infringement procedures in Member States that have failed to implement the Directive properly, as it is now more than 15 years since the adoption of the Zoo Directive.
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