Borth Wild Animal Kingdom has been served with a direction to close the enclosures of its most dangerous animals – known as Category 1 animals - by Ceredigion County Council. The direction was served on 27 January 2020 because of inadequate firearms arrangements in the event of an escape of a dangerous animal.

Having a satisfactory firearms capability is a condition of the current zoo licence. It stipulates that the zoo must keep a competent and licenced firearms team of three members. At least one member of the firearms team must be on duty every day, preferably two. It was confirmed recently that the zoo has failed to maintain these conditions.

The zoo can appeal against this direction to a Magistrates' Court within 28 days of receiving the direction. The council has written to the zoo operators requesting that they close Borth Wild Animal Kingdom to the public on a voluntary basis until the matter is heard by the court.

Councillor Gareth Lloyd is the Cabinet member responsible for Public Protection Services. He said: “I know that the direction was served reluctantly. Council staff have worked closely with the zoo to help them comply with the conditions of their licence. The safety of the public and the welfare of animals have always been our priorities in this case, and the direction to close the Category 1 enclosures was based on those priorities.

“We are working on contingency plans to re-home the Category 1 animals with licenced zoo operators should the direction to close the enclosures not be successfully appealed.”

The most dangerous animals fall into Category 1 as defined under Appendix 12 of the National Assembly for Wales Standards of Modern Zoo Practice. The Zoo Closure Direction was served under section 16B (1) of the Zoo Licensing Act 1981.