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?
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./facepalm Even Yossarian would be hard put to believe that one.
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.
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.I think anyone reading this is going to see who the cretins really are, don't worry about that, Mr Ames...
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.”
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.Allow me to translate that: blah, blah, blah...
"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."
Local councils: gradually strangling all businesses they don't have full control over.