26 May 2023

We're disappointed by the UK Government’s announcement that it is to drop the Kept Animals Bill.

We were strongly in favour of the Bill, which would have made important changes to animal welfare across the UK.   
As an international conservation organisation - with our two conservation zoos using an evidence-based, science-led approach to lead the way in setting high standards for animal welfare - we worked closely with the Government and other partners to strengthen the Bill.  
In particular, we were in full support of measures to enhance the conservation impact delivered by UK zoos, which ZSL research has shown have the potential to bring animals back from the edge of extinction

Dormouse curled up in the hands on a ZSL vet
Partula affinis checked over at ZSL London Zoo by Dave Clarke, snail is sitting on his finger
We're bringing animals back from the brink

Alongside other UK conservation zoos, we also worked with the Government to ensure that its definition of zoo conservation reflected the wide range of work that ZSL and others carry out across the UK – from veterinary checks on threatened species being reintroduced to the wild, to conservation breeding, wildlife education and scientific research.  
We welcome the Minister’s commitment to work closely with UK zoos on next steps.  We look forward to the Government bringing forward new measures to reflect their commitment to animal welfare, and provide the strongest foundation for the work of conservation zoos to protect and restore vulnerable species.