Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Zoo owner banned from keeping animals

Fife Animal Park
Image caption Peter Lockhart was the co-owner of the Fife Animal Park, Cupar, which closed in February 2014 after it could not be sold

A zoo owner has been fined and banned from owning animals after admitting keeping various birds and animals in squalid conditions.

Peter Lockhart, 50, was the co-owner of the Fife Animal Park, near Cupar, which closed in February 2014 after its owners were unable to sell it.

At Dundee Sheriff Court, Lockhart admitted failing to ensure the welfare of the animals in his park.

He also admitted trading in endangered species without a licence.

Protected species at the zoo included ring tailed and red ruffed lemur, a Geoffrey's marmoset, a lesser-sulphur crested cockatoo, swinhoes pheasants, hermann's tortoises, wildcats, and barn and eagle owls.

Failed diet

Lockhart, of Newton of Falkland, Fife, admitted nine offences under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 and Control of Trade in Endangered Species (Enforcement) Regulations 1997 in October last year.

He admitted he "failed to provide a suitable, clean and ventilated environment with adequate cover and bedding".

Lockhart also failed to provide a suitable diet for the animals or adequate treatment for conditions that they were suffering from, or to protect them from injury, suffering or disease.

He was fined £2,000 and disqualified from owning or keeping any type of animals, fish, reptiles, birds, mammals and primates for five years.

PC Lindsay Kerr, of Police Scotland, said: "These are complex cases utilising little used legislation and as such specialist investigation is required. We dealt with Mr Lockhart in 2010 and it is regrettable that he failed to bring his premises and his practices up to a suitable standard as was our advice at that time."

Shortly after the zoo's closure nine wallabies and an emu were adopted by the Five Sisters Zoo in West Calder.

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