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Animal Concern Advice Line News

Black Isle Animal Park Neglect

July 29th 2017: John Robins has asked ACAL supporters to lobby Highland Council in a bid to save animals from neglect at the Black Isle Animal Park.

Dear Supporters,

Don't worry this is not yet another begging letter - we need your help, not your money.

I trust I find you well and willing to write a few e-mails and sign some petitions to help some animals in Scotland. I haven't been in touch for a while as I've been busy on different campaigns and admin work but I now find that we need a bigger push to try and get some positive action to protect animals at risk.

Nearly three years ago we got involved in a campaign started by committed local activists to save animals from suffering and neglect at Black Isle Wildlife Park north of Inverness. You may remember I discovered Highland Council granted a Zoo License to someone who did not know how to feed a donkey or that exotic reptiles needed heated enclosures.

Just over a year ago our campaign resulted in the Park losing its Zoo License and all the exotic animals were eventually rehomed. However last November, despite my reminding them that the Park lost its Zoo License because it did not know how to care for domestic animals, Highland Council Licensing Committee gave them a Public Entertainment License allowing them to charge visitors an entry fee to a petting zoo. Council officials promised they would keep a close eye on things.

On Monday 3rd July Charlotte Lawson and Rita Badia took up posts as volunteer workers looking after the animals at the Black Isle Park. What they found shocked and disgusted them. Dead rabbits in hutches, equines and goats in pens that hadn't been properly mucked out for months, animals being underfed and fed inappropriate diets and general neglect and animal suffering. For the rest of the week Charlotte and Rita took detailed notes and photographs and took sick animals to the vet, paying the bills themselves.

On Friday 7th July, along with another concerned volunteer, they confronted the Park Manager over the animal suffering and neglect they had witnessed. They were told to leave the Park and not come back. All their evidence has been given to the Highland Council who are, yet again, investigating the situation.

Enough is enough. Nearly three years after I first asked the Council to take action and despite numerous visits from Council officials and the Scottish SPCA animals are still suffering and dying at Black Isle Park. The owners have mental health problems and are now too old, too infirm and too impoverished to take care of their animals. If the Council and Scottish SPCA cannot persuade them to voluntarily give up all their animals for rehoming there is only one option left and that is to prosecute the owners and managers for animal cruelty/neglect and, if they are found guilty, to ask the courts to ban them from keeping or working with animals.

If you want more info (including pics and vids) go to: save the animals from black isle facebook page

Then please sign the petition Charlotte and Rita have raised. An astounding 82,000 people have already signed it. I know many of you have great contact networks and are far more astute than I when it comes to Twitter and Facebook. Spread the word and let's get this Petition up to 100K by Monday. save the animals from black isle petition page

Please also send a short, polite e-mail to Councillor Margaret Davidson, Leader of Highland Council: margaret.davidson.cllr@highland.gov.uk and ask her to take action to ensure Black Isle Park loses its Public Entertainment License and the owners are prosecuted for animal cruelty and neglect with a view to them being banned from keeping or working with animals. Everyone can do this but it would be great if lots of people living in the Highland Council area wrote and copied their e-mail to their own Councillor.

I've another urgent issue I need your help with and I'll send you an e-mail about that later today. That will include a request for you to write to the Scottish SPCA. Just in case I forget you could add to that e-mail a request for the Scottish SPCA to prosecute Black Isle Animal Park.

Cheers 4 now,

John