TB restrictions lifted at Devon zoo after clear test

Andrew Segal

BBC South West

TB restrictions at Paignton Zoo have been lifted after they were put in place nearly two years ago, staff have announced.

The conservation charity has been constrained since August 2017 when an initial single case of the disease was found in an antelope, which resulted in a whole herd having to be put down.

Two Asiatic lions later had to be put down after they tested positive, as did five west caucasian tur.

But restrictions have been lifted after a "crucial final test" came back all clear.

Paignton Zoo

Staff are "looking to the future with a renewed sense of certainty" after the disease affected breeding and animal movement programmes for endangered animals such as red panda, golden lion tamarin and the Asiatic lion, the zoo said.

Among "animal moves hoped for soon" were gold lion tamarin, zebra, bongo, Asiatic lions, orangutans and maned wolf.

Dr Amy Plowman, director of living collections, said: "We’ve been able to make a few selected animal moves recently with the help of government vets at either end, thanks to an agreement with the Animal and Plant Health Agency.

"We hope now that we can accelerate the process, moving youngsters on, pairing up single animals and thinking about our conservation breeding work."

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