Zoos to cash in from mega £100million bailout to restart industry after coronavirus pandemic
ZOOS are set to cash in from a bumper £100 million bail out to restart the industry after the pandemic.
The huge fund will help keep animals fed and safe and to mitigate for lower crowds due to social distancing.
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Animal centres had been handed a £14million initial relief fund in May and will run until March 2021 to ensure the necessary long-term support is in place to help with severe financial difficulties.
And while the centres can now reopen, with indoor exhibits welcoming customers from July 4th, the extra cash will help cover costs relating to animal keeping such as feed, heating and security.
Animal Welfare Minister Lord Goldsmith said: “We have a world-leading zoo and conservation sector, and I know how hard zoos have been working to safeguard the welfare of their animals in the face of real financial hardship and uncertainty.
“Allowing zoos to reopen has taken off some of the pressure, but the coronavirus pandemic has left them facing long-term financial problems.
"This funding will therefore be a lifeline for our zoos and aquariums and ensure the quality of animal care continues over the coming months."
Chief Secretary to the Treasury Steve Barclay added: “Whilst zoos and aquariums are now able to reopen their doors, we know how difficult the past few months have been.
"That’s why we’ve been doing everything we can to support them.
“This extra £100 million of funding will ensure those affected by the outbreak can continue to care for their animals as well as the important conservation and educational work.”
Only registered Zoos will be able to apply for the scheme.
Dr Simon Girling, Chair of the Zoo Experts Committee, said: “The Zoo Experts Committee is pleased that the UK Government has listened to the scientific advice of the Committee and not only provided an animal welfare fund at the start of the pandemic for zoos in financial difficulties associated with the lockdown, but they have now made the move to open all parts of zoos from 4 July with appropriate social distancing for public and animal safety.
“ZEC welcomes these moves and believes this funding will ensure zoos are able to generate much-needed income to fund the ongoing care of their animals and much of their valuable conservation work at this challenging time for everyone.”
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