Black Isle Wildlife Park - closure direction.
The Highland Licensing Committee held at Highland Council’s headquarters in Inverness, has today (22 June) issued a zoo closure direction to the operators of the Black Isle Wildlife Park at Drumsmittal, North Kessock.
This decision was taken following a special inspection - instigated by The Highland Council - and report by a Scottish Government appointed specialist vet.
Earlier this year the Council carried out a number of inspections of the park in response to complaints by members of the public about issues relating to animal welfare and general maintenance of the zoo. An inspection carried out by a Highland Council Environmental Health Officer accompanied by a Council-appointed vet highlighted a variety of welfare and husbandry issues.
Following the inspection, the Council acted under the Zoo Licensing Act and arranged a further special inspection to be carried out by a Scottish Government appointed specialist vet.
Findings of the special inspection and the specialist vet’s report indicated that the zoo was found to be seriously below the standards required for operators to be in possession of a zoo licence, and was non-compliant with a large number of standard conditions of zoo practice.
The specialist vet stated: “…that due to serious deficiencies found and non-compliance with most standard conditions, the inspection team cannot recommend that a licence continues to be in place for this zoo.”
The direction only takes effect after the 28-day period for appeal has expired.
The Highland Council will continue to work closely with the operators to ensure the animals’ welfare and to re-house the exotic animals in appropriate establishments. The operators are aware of the specialist vet’s report.