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UK Set To Ban Zoos And Safari Parks From Keeping Elephants

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UK Set To Ban Zoos And Safari Parks From Keeping Elephants

Keeping elephants in UK zoos and safari parks is reportedly set to be become a thing of the past.

Legislation will prohibit the importation of new elephants, with existing UK-based populations allowed to die out naturally, according to the Daily Mail.

The Government is due to receive the results of a report on the welfare of elephants in captivity soon, and a senior source told the newspaper that the report argues against keeping the creatures in zoos and safari parks.

Keeping elephants in UK zoos and safari parks is reportedly set to be banned. Credit: PA
Keeping elephants in UK zoos and safari parks is reportedly set to be banned. Credit: PA
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The source said: "Once the current load of elephants die out we will say you can't replace them.

"It's impossible to keep them in conditions where they are happy, the space is too small.

"In the UK the biggest elephant enclosures are so minute. They grub up the environment so quickly too - they have an incredibly important role in that but if they are in such a small area they destroy everything.

"It's very likely we are going to say you can't make elephants happy in zoos, we should instead be focusing on elephant conservation in areas that have elephants."

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The policy is part of wider zoo reforms due to be announced later this year as part of the Kept Animals Bill, which will focus on puppy smuggling, live exports, banning keeping primates as pets, livestock worrying and zoos.

The expected ban on elephants in UK zoos and safari parks will no doubt please Boris Johnson's wife Carrie, who works for conservation charity The Aspinall Foundation and has long championed elephant welfare.


Many animals rights groups have been calling for a ban on elephants being kept in zoos, as they are highly intelligent migratory creatures, and being kept in a confined space can damage their mental health and physical wellbeing.

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Indeed, studies have shown that elephants live three times longer in the wild.

Mark Jones of the charity Born Free said: "There are many species that don't belong in zoos, elephants are very much one of those species. It should be phased out, the needs of these very wide roaming, very complex social animals cannot be met in a captive environment."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: UK News, elephants, Animals

Jake Massey
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