28 August 2020
Dear John F. Robins,
Thank you for your email to the First Minister, Ms Nicola Sturgeon, dated 18 June and reguarding support for zoos and sanctuaries. I have been asked to response and must apologise for the length of time it has taken to get back to you
On 18th June, the First Minister announced that an additional £1.6 million in grants and £1 million in loans has been made available for putting in place emergency support for Scotland's zoos and aquariums. The Scottish Zoo and Aquarium Animal Welfare fund opened to applications from the 7th August, and will remain open to eligble establishments in need of aid until mid-December 2020.
The scheme is targeted at zoos and aquariums holding a full licence or a dispensation under the Zoo licensing Act 1981, or who have been granted an exemption under section 14 of the Zoo Licensing act 1981 because of the small number of animals or small number of kinds of animals kept there. The purpose of the scheme is to alleviate potential animal welfare concerns arising in Scotland's zoos and aquariums from the significant loss of income from visitors over the key spring and summer holiday season due to Covid-19 pandemic. Grants or loans will be provided for animal care costs and, where necessary, re-homing costs, up to a cap of £100k. Grants may be provided where an establishment has only 12 weeks operating costs or less remaining to them, in other cases a loan may be provided. we anticipate that the scheme is likely to be of more benefit to smaller establishments with no significantreserve and who have smaller monthly animal care costs than, to use your example, the two large sites run by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland.
While we recognise that some animal sanctuaries may also be struggling during these challenging times, sanctuaries are not included in the scheme as they are not licenced zoo's and do not normally receive the bulk of their income from paying visitors. I can, however, confirm that we are currently working on putting in place legislation to regulate sanctuaries.
I hope that this information is helpful.
AHW : Animal Welfare