Half of Britons think keeping large animals in captivity should be phased out
From medieval times onwards, zoos have offered the British public the opportunity to observe and learn about animals they may be otherwise unlikely to encounter.
Seven in ten Britons (71%) say they go to zoos or wildlife sanctuaries, including 28% who visit them at least once a year.
A quarter of Britons (24%) say they never go to zoos.
The educational, research and conservation opportunities offered by reputable zoos has helped to justify their continued existence.
Indeed, six in ten Britons (58%) believe zoos play a positive role in the welfare and conservation of animals – in contrast, just 8% say they play a negative role.
A quarter want to see zoos banned, and half back phasing out keeping large animals in captivity
Despite most Britons appearing to think fairly positively of zoos, such facilities have long faced criticism from those who would prefer to see them phased out of society, from accusations of contributing to the climate crisis to long-running campaigns against keeping animals in captivity.
A quarter of Britons (24%) would like to see zoos banned entirely, including 7% who’d “strongly” support such a ban.
Most Britons (61%) would oppose such a ban, including 28% who are strongly opposed.
There does seem to be a public sense, however, that zoos are worse for large animals, with fully half of Britons (52%) saying they would support phasing out the keeping of large animals in captivity. Three in ten are opposed.