Lowestoft mobile zoo owner welcomes new regulations for exotic animal owners

Kids enjoy a mobile zoo in Suffolk. Picture Gary Donnison.

Kids enjoy a mobile zoo in Suffolk. Picture Gary Donnison.

A mobile zoo owner from Lowestoft has welcomed the government's new regulations for exotic animal owners.

The change in the Animal Welfare Act 2006 means mobile zoos that provide exotic animals for events will require a licence to operate in England.

They will be required by law to apply for a licence which will then be granted after an inspection of the living conditions and treatment of the animals. Owners could be fine up to £2,000 for noncompliance to regulations.

A number of mobile zoo businesses operate in the region and Ian Gooch, owner of Zoo-Tastic, thinks the move is a 'fantastic idea'.

The Lowestoft company has a variety of creatures including snakes, a bearded dragon and tortoises.

He said: 'The increased control will ensure the correct animal quantities are kept and proper inspections can be carried out for insurance purposes. 'There are mobile zoos out there that don't have the proper conditions to care for their animals, and they need to be regulated for the sake of the other zoos.'

According to district councils in Norfolk and Suffolk there a large number of privately owned exotic animals in the region.

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The list includes reindeer, boars, ostriches, camels, lemurs, wild cats such as lynxes and leopards, and a variety of reptiles from killer cobras to rattlesnakes.