People, Environment

Zoo Conditions Improve Nationwide

Zoo Conditions Improve Nationwide Zoo Conditions Improve Nationwide

The conditions of zoos, bird gardens and animal care centers across the country have improved over the past few years, as a result of a more efficient stick-and-carrot approach.

Currently, Iran has 71 zoos, bird gardens and other animal centers, only five of which do not yet have a DOE license. This is while by the end of July 2016, there were 24 unlicensed centers out of a total of 77 centers, ISNA reported.

"Overall, there has been improvement in the conditions of these centers and we are satisfied with the progress," said Ali Teymouri, director of Hunting and Fishing Office at the Department of Environment.

Following inspections, centers that failed to meet DOE's standards were notified and issued ultimatums to improve their conditions. Consequently, seven of the unlicensed centers were forced to close due to lack of improvement in their conditions.

"Drastic improvements were made by several zoos regarding the hygiene and space provided for animals while we had no option but to close a few others that were reluctant [in implementing improvements]," he said.  

The official stressed that zoos do not have much revenue and should not be expected to meet all DOE's requirements overnight.

"We should encourage and facilitate the gradual improvements in the conditions of these zoos," he said.  Teymouri also said the DOE would fully cooperate with those centers that show willingness to improve.

"It is not all stick and no carrot. The best zoos are awarded each year. Eram Zoo in Tehran and Barajin Zoo in Qazvin were awarded the best zoos last year," he said, adding that reluctant centers like Mashhad Zoo, however, will be shut down.

In order to improve their conditions, DOE has taken several measures, including holding workshops for the managers of these centers, enforcing stricter requirements for those seeking a license for zoos, bird garden and other animal care centers, and cooperation with Iran Veterinary Organization regarding the inspection of zoos. Teymouri stressed the importance of expansion of wildlife parks in Iran.

"Zoos and wildlife parks play a very important role in off-site conservation. This is especially the case for species whose natural habitats have been severely damaged," he said.


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