Page last updated at 18:58 GMT, Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Zoo expelled from industry body

Tiger at Noah's Ark Zoo
The Great British Circus is the only UK circus to use tigers in its shows

A zoo in North Somerset has been expelled from an industry body over its relationship with a circus.

The British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) said Noah's Ark Zoo Farm kept dealings with the Great British Circus hidden from it.

BIAZA, which pledged to investigate last month, has now terminated the Wraxall zoo's membership for bringing the association into disrepute.

An association statement read: "There has been a breakdown of trust."

The reasons for termination are due to a refusal to provide BIAZA with information when requested
BIAZA statement

The Great British Circus is the only UK circus which still uses tigers in its shows.

One of the Noah's Ark tigers is used on a Great British Circus promotional DVD and is seen performing tricks during a training session in the circus ring.

The circus insists none of the tigers at Noah's Ark Zoo Farm [NAZF] has actually taken part in performances.

BIAZA is a charity which represents and promotes the UK's and Ireland's zoo and aquariums.

Its statement reads: "The reasons for termination are due to a refusal to provide BIAZA with information when requested and entering into an arrangement with the Great British Circus, which contravenes the Animal Transaction Policy, despite having been warned of possible consequences.

"Council believes that the behaviour of NAZF has brought the association into disrepute and that there has been a breakdown of trust between BIAZA and NAZF, and this has unfortunately resulted in a parting of the ways."

Secret filming

In October BBC Inside Out West revealed the Captive Animals Protection Society (CAPS) had filmed secret footage at Noah's Ark.

That revealed some of the staff at the zoo were unhappy about its links with the circus.

An undercover researcher working for CAPS also discovered the zoo had buried a tiger carcass on its land instead of sending it off for incineration as the law demands.

Anthony Bush, the owner of Noah's Ark, said at the time he had since dug up the tiger and corrected his mistake.

Mr Bush refused to comment on the expulsion from BIAZA when contacted by BBC News Online.



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