Page last updated at 16:32 GMT, Friday, 12 March 2010

Zoo plans to introduce elephants

A privately-owned zoo in North Somerset says it wants to bring elephants to the Wraxall-based attraction.

Noah's Ark Zoo Farm has applied to planers for permission to build an elephant house and outdoor enclosure.

It comes months after the farm was banned from membership of the British and Irish Association of Zoos (BIAZA).

The zoo was subsequently inspected but the results of this have not yet been made public. It denies any wrong-doing and says it expects to be cleared.

'Detailed information'

Jo Penny from Bristol Animal Rights Collective (BARC) says they believe the zoo should not take on something as large or as specialised as elephants.

"Other zoo keepers and people from other zoos are saying 'we don't think this is a good idea for them to get elephants'," Ms Penny added.

In a statement Noah's Ark Farm said it had always been its long-term aim to provide a spacious, modern enclosure for elephants.

"We will of course provide detailed information and discuss our plans... and conduct this project in line with all of the required legislation and with close consultation with the relevant authorities."

Noah's Ark Zoo Farm's membership was terminated from 25 November 2009 because of its relationship with a circus, which BIAZA said brought the association into disrepute

The association said Noah's Ark Zoo Farm kept its dealings with the Great British Circus - the only UK circus which still uses tigers in its shows - hidden from it.

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

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