It is with great pride that I rise today to speak up for all those magnificent institutions, organisations and charities throughout the United Kingdom who work tirelessly in the cause of conservation, education and research, the protection of endangered species, and animal welfare. Indeed, our great British zoos, aquariums and wildlife sanctuaries demonstrate the very best our nation has to offer to the world in looking after the amazing creatures of land, sea and air with whom we are so privileged to share this planet.
However, I do so with great sadness and fear—fear of what may be to come as our zoos, aquariums and wildlife sanctuaries now face some of the most challenging times they have ever had to deal with. That is why I call upon all Members of this House, and especially the Prime Minister and Her Majesty’s Government, to take action this day to ensure that these magnificent institutions so dedicated to the survival and welfare of the animal kingdom do not face extinction themselves.
As chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on zoos and aquariums, may I thank the Minister and the Government for the excellent co-operation they have shown in liaising with so many of our animal welfare organisations in recent weeks? The Prime Minister, as we all know, is someone who supports with gusto the fantastic conservation, education and research work being undertaken by zoos and aquariums across the country. It is with great pleasure that I invite the Minister here today, along with the Prime Minister, to visit London zoo with me, as soon as it is possible to do so, to see at first hand our British conservation sector at work here in the United Kingdom, and to learn about all their tremendous achievements in protecting endangered species across the globe. I am proud to support a Government who hold animal welfare in the highest regard, along with the conservation of the natural world.