One out of 18 Zoos in Bulgaria Meets All Animal Welfare Standards
Only one zoo in Bulgaria, the one located in the northeastern city of Dobrich, fully matches the requirements stipulated in Bulgarian and EU laws, according to reports of the National Environment Protection Service at the Ministry of Environment and Water (MoEW).
The country's 17 other zoos do not meet all animal welfare requirements, according to the MoEW, as cited by the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency (BTA).
Bulgarian zoos were built before 1989 on the basis of outdated concepts, which means that the facilities are in need of repair and the animals must be provided new spaces to live in, according to the MoEW.
Due to the lack of appropriate conditions, the zoos in the cities of Plovdiv, Kyustendil, Karnobat and Ruse have been closed.
The MoEW points out that finding the financial resources to upgrade zoos is a major problem, adding that the Dobrich-based zoo is in good condition due to Swiss funding.
Despite the lack of funding, some zoos, such as the ones in Stara Zagora, Pazardzhik and Sofia, have managed to achieve good results in their attempts to raise animal welfare standards.
The MOEW says that improving the current condition of zoos requires around BGN 18 M, adding that EU funds cannot be used for the purpose.
The MOEW is currently in talks for transferring seven bears abroad and for building two centers for bears in the country, one of which has secured a site.
The MoEW has so far found appropriate homes for three lions and a tiger (in South Africa), for one chimp (in the UK) and a bear (in the Netherlands).
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