Highlands & Islands

Black Isle Wildlife Park could operate as a 'petting park'

Rabbit Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Councillors have agreed that the park could continue with domestic, but not exotic, animals

A visitor attraction in the Highlands could continue to operate with a collection of domestic animals, but not exotic species.

Highland Council's licensing committee has revoked the Black Isle Wildlife Park's zoo licence following an investigation into animal welfare.

However, if four conditions on welfare are met, it operators will be granted a public entertainment licence.

This would allow the site to be run as a "domestic animal petting park".

In June, Highland Council issued a zoo closure direction to the management of the park at Drumsmittal in North Kessock.

The operators were given an opportunity to appeal the order.

A zebra at the park is to be re-homed.

'Watching brief'

Licensing committee chairman Ian Cockburn said: "Members of the licensing committee take animal welfare very seriously.

"I would like to thank our environmental health team for the thorough work that they have undertaken, which has been a great help to addressing the concerns and improving standards at the park.

"Members have put a lot of thought and research into this case prior to hearing the application.

"Members' views are that by licensing the park's activities will give the council more control and reassurance about the animal welfare and public safety for the future."

He added: "The licence will enable our environmental health officers to maintain a watching brief on the park's future activities."

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