Thursday, 3 December 2009

Noah's Ark Zoo Farm expelled from British zoo association

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After I wrote about the insidious creationism on display at Noah's Ark Zoo Farm near Bristol at the end of the summer, the story moved on somewhat – in October the focus shifted from creationism to allegations that the zoo had been breeding animals for the Great British Circus, which is the last circus company in Britain to use live animals in its productions.

As a result of the allegations, Noah's Ark was suspended from the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquaria (BIAZA), which had previously defended the zoo when it came under fire over creationism. And now the BBC reports that the zoo has been expelled from BIAZA, which has released the following statement:
"The reasons for termination are due to a refusal to provide BIAZA with information when requested and entering into an arrangement with the Great British Circus, which contravenes the Animal Transaction Policy, despite having been warned of possible consequences.

"Council believes that the behaviour of NAZF has brought the association into disrepute and that there has been a breakdown of trust between BIAZA and NAZF, and this has unfortunately resulted in a parting of the ways."
Responding to the expulsion, the zoo says it will return its tigers to their owner, who also owns the Great British Circus. In a statement, owner Anthony Bush said:
"We were given the tigers by Lynctrek, a private breeding centre. The owner of this company also owns The Great British Circus. The tigers we were donated never performed in a circus. One had been trained to work in films and did a promotional video. However, we have decided to give the tigers back and concentrate on our extensive collection loved by visitors. My whole aim, since I started Noah's Ark in 1998 has been to treat animals with care, kindness and absolute respect. We also endeavour to breed endangered species and contribute to conservation."