29 June 2020

Whilst the announcement of a £100 million rescue package for England’s zoos and aquariums is welcome Chester Zoo are unable benefit from it making public support more important than ever.

We of course welcome any extension of financial support for the zoo sector. But once again, from the details we have seen, Chester Zoo is unlikely to benefit given the current parameters applied to the fund. After significant time spent in lengthy, and what have been seemingly very positive discussions with Government representatives in recent months, this is extremely disappointing for us.

While the Government has recognised the high running costs of caring for animals at zoos across the country, it must understand the far-reaching and long-term implications of Covid-19 on our critical work to protect threatened species globally. As a conservation and education charity working to prevent extinction in more than 30 countries, Chester Zoo’s valued conservation projects in the wild, vital scientific research, and education programmes both in the UK and overseas are at risk of being lost – putting animals at further risk of extinction.

We urgently call on the Government to make changes to the scheme and ensure financial help also reaches large charity zoos. Currently, with no tailored funding or support from the Government, we will need to continue our fundraising efforts whilst opening to limited visitor numbers – once again calling on the goodwill, compassion and amazing actions of the public to Save our Zoo.

 

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