CAPS is delighted to confirm that Chester Zoo has now stated that it will no longer amputate the ends of birds’ wings in order to hold them captive. The CAPS Fight for Flight campaign seeks to end the practice of “pinioning”, which is legally classed as a mutilation, in zoos in the UK and Europe. Pinioning involves the amputation of the end of a baby bird’s wing a few days after birth. Pinioned birds will never fly.
Chester had been publicly named as one of the zoos which engaged in this cruel practice, having confirmed in a press article on the Fight for Flight campaign that flamingos and cranes are pinioned at the zoo. At the time, the misleading suggestion was made that it was a legal obligation to pinion birds in order that they did not escape. This was not the case.
In the last few days, however, it seems that the zoo has bowed to the pressure as it was confirmed in writing to CAPS Director, Liz Tyson, that: “the decision was taken to stop pinioning flamingos and cranes – the two groups upon which this was carried out”.
Ms Tyson said:
“In the last month, both London Zoo and Chester Zoo have committed to bringing an end to the deliberate and permanent mutilation of birds for exhibition purposes. We still have a long way to go but this is a significant step forward. We are delighted that these developments have come just over six months into the Fight for Flight campaign. We expect to see more zoos following suit as the pressure on them to do the right thing continues to build”.
Ms Tyson also paid tribute to CAPS supporter who, she said “have played a vital role in the campaign by ensuring that zoos are made aware that maiming birds in the name of entertainment is simply unacceptable”.