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Zoos and aquariums get access to £14m Covid-19 fund

Grants of up to £100,000 available to establishments hit hard by loss of income

Zoos and aquariums affected by the coronavirus pandemic have been offered access to a £14 million support fund by the government.

Announced on 4 May, the fund is designed to help zoos that have had to close to the public cover costs related to keeping their animals. Individual awards will be capped at £100,000 and are only available to establishments covered by the Zoo Licensing Act.

Many zoos and aquariums host researchers and facilitate access to their animals for academic work, ranging from studies of elephant behaviour to fish genetics.

The funding is expected to particularly help smaller zoos, and is in addition to the existing business rates relief and the business interruption loan scheme.

“Animal welfare remains a top priority for this government,” said the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. “Defra will continue to work with some of the largest zoos to discuss additional concerns about funding in the longer term.”