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Animal rights campaigners have been protesting against the proposal to develop a zoo at Bidlea Dairy near Holmes Chapel, Cheshire, UK. Animal encounters business Zoo2U has applied to Cheshire East Council for the relocation to their current zoo, formed 10 years ago at Hall Farm in Alsager, to the new location so that it can expand and keep more animals. The zoo plans to keep captive red squirrels, which is a species that seems to have many problems in coping with a captive life. They also plan to keep captive golden lion tamarins, a tropical species not adapted to the British climate. If the relocation and expansion happen, more wild animals like these are likely to be suffering in the zoo.

Animal activists from Cheshire Against The Cull and Merseyside Animal Rights joined local campaigners to stage two protest demonstrations on 1st July 2022 outside Cheshire East Council offices in Sandbach and at the proposed site on Twemlow Lane.
Nicky Brooks, one of the protestors, said to the Knutsford Guardian: “If they are wild animals, leave them in the wild. They shouldn’t keep wild animals in captivity for any reason, it is cruelty. It is 2022, not 1922. We are not in Victorian times when this was the norm. We don’t need to shut animals in a box in a farm in Cheshire… There are loads of films on television and the Internet and endless information is available.” Katy Brown, from Merseyside Animal Rights, said, “We don’t think this teaches children a good way of viewing animals. There are other opportunities to learn about animals in their natural habitat. Children can enjoy watching birds in the wild at a bird feeder in the garden or go out badger watching. Birds should be able to fly. This could be compared to prison. Golden tamarins belong in the wilds of Brazil. We are concerned that they intend to house these animals in ‘single-storey’ buildings. Tamarins need to be able to escape upwards and should be able to rest above the eye line of humans.”

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