Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Not All The Dumb Creatures Are Behind Bars...

...quite a few of them inhabit Sevenoaks Council offices:
Eagle Heights owner Alan Ames has been told he needs to upgrade his wildlife park’s perimeter fence because he has potentially dangerous animals on site such as cheetahs and a camel.
Fair enough. What's the problem, cost?

Well, no:
Sevenoaks District Council met with Mr Ames on Thursday (Mar 25) following a routine Defra inspection which concluded his current fence needs upgrading before his zoo licence expires in two years time.

But the council has told Mr Ames he is unlikely to get planning permission to put up the type of fence required, as the zoo falls on green belt land in Eynsford.
/facepalm Even Yossarian would be hard put to believe that one.

Still, never let it be said that the council can't come up with a solution:
However it says he would not need a fence if the animals were no longer on the site and the park reverted to its original use as a bird of prey centre.
Aha! I think I see the reason for this intransigence. Some animal rights anti-zoo nuts on the council, perchance? Ones who are not keen on animals in captivity?

Ones who are only too happy to let this bureacratic foul-up remove the problem?
Mr Ames, who visits around 100 schools each year lecturing on his work, says he has no idea where the animals would go if the park lost its licence.

He said: "This is incredulous, it's come out of the blue.

The will to carry on is slowly being beaten out of me.

“I’ve spent the last 14 years trying to do something useful and educate people and now I don’t know what to do.”

He added: “I’m an expert in my field and I’m treated like a cretin.”
I think anyone reading this is going to see who the cretins really are, don't worry about that, Mr Ames...
A council spokesman said: “The council is keen to see this valuable tourist attraction continue in the district and will work closely with the owners to try and secure the centre's ongoing viability within the limits of the legislation applicable to zoos.

"If Eagle Heights failed to comply with conditions specified within its Zoo Licensing Act, then ultimately the council has the power to direct that Eagle Heights or parts of it be closed to the public, but it is hoped that the council and the owners of Eagle Heights will continue to work together to ensure Eagle Heights complies fully with the licence conditions."
Allow me to translate that: blah, blah, blah...

Local councils: gradually strangling all businesses they don't have full control over.

7 comments:

ranter said...

yet Sevenoaks council continues to allow unauthorised pikey developments to grow, has allowed a local quarry site to expand which ruins an area already suffering the scourge of post industrialism and affect new high priced housing developments erected only last year as well considering allowing more 'affordable housing to be built on green belt/rural land.
Crazy! I haven't seen General Deedle's name on the council officers list! It seems that it's one rule for the moneyed lot and yet another for those scraping a living and for those trying to do something useful and worthwhile.

Brian, follower of Deornoth said...

Cheetahs, meet council officials.

What's that? you can't escape from these predators because the fence is too high? I'll apply for planning permission to lower it. Shouldn't take more than a year or two.

That's a problem? Yes, you are right; all of you lot put together wouldn't feed a cheetah for the time it takes for the council to answer a letter.

Peter Dickinson said...

I seriously believe there must be far more to this than meets the eye. I have not visited this collection so I really have no idea as to the boundary fence. Cheetahs are not renowned for their climbing ability nor camels for their ability to jump so possibly there is no fence at all? Surely not...else he would have no paying visitors.
I will watch the story with interest.

Anonymous said...

"and for those trying to do something useful and worthwhile."

Like the Hallswood animal sanctuary.

http://www.eveningnews24.co.uk/content/eveningnews24/norwich-news/story.aspx?brand=ENOnline&category=News&tBrand=ENOnline&tCategory=news&itemid=NOED06%20Jan%202010%2016%3A27%3A56%3A750

Jiks said...

Cheetahs are one thing but if he had been caught in possesion of a Goldfish I shudder to think what the cheaters at the council would be proposing to do to him...

JuliaM said...

"It seems that it's one rule for the moneyed lot and yet another for those scraping a living and for those trying to do something useful and worthwhile."

Indeed. If Mr Ames were to swap his cheetahs for some lurchers and an elderly spavined horse with harness galls, he's probably be untouchable..

"Cheetahs, meet council officials."

I think there's probably too much far on your average council official for them to be considered appropriate for a cheetah's diet.

Sadly.

"Cheetahs are not renowned for their climbing ability nor camels for their ability to jump so possibly there is no fence at all?"

I think DEFRA zoo regulations are standard no matter what you keep. This fence would no doubt be insisted upom if all he kept were crocodiles!

"Like the Hallswood animal sanctuary."

Just like that. Councils can't bear anyone doing anything without their chance to poke their noses in, can they?

"...if he had been caught in possesion of a Goldfish I shudder to think what the cheaters at the council would be proposing to do to him..."

Heh!

Chuckles said...

Cheetahs are about as timid as it gets in the cat family, I don't think there is a single documented case of them intentionally attacking humans.
The camels are probably more aggressive, but anyone who's ever been downwind of a camel - they'd never get close enough