Zoos: Birds of Prey

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 8th July 2019.

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Photo of Jim Cunningham Jim Cunningham Labour, Coventry South

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to extend Government guidance on the tethering of owls and vultures in zoos to all birds of prey.

Photo of David Rutley David Rutley Assistant Whip (HM Treasury), Government Whip

The Secretary of State's Standards of Modern Zoo Practice already set clear requirements for the tethering of all birds of prey used for demonstrations in zoos. The zoo standards require that tethered birds of prey should be flown at least four times a week unless tethered for medical treatment; that no bird of prey should be tethered permanently, and that all birds of prey should be given the opportunity to fly or move around freely during part of the year. Resting birds of prey should also be provided with sufficient aviary space. Defra’s Zoos Expert Committee is currently considering revisions to the zoo standards as a whole.

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