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Job : Wed 10 Aug 2022
The Speaker of the House of Commons visited Chester Zoo, the ‘conservation powerhouse’, to learn about preventing extinction, tackling deforestation and protecting endangered species.
Sir Lindsay Hoyle met the zoo’s team of rangers and deforestation experts, alongside Zoo CEO Jamie Christon, to learn more about the wide range of conservation efforts being carried out by Chester Zoo.
Sir Lindsay heard about the pioneering work being done to develop the world’s first safe and effective vaccine against Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus (EEHV) – a devastating disease that poses a major threat to the long-term future of the already endangered species.
Conservationists say a vaccine is the best hope for a long-term solution to the devastating disease, which has been confirmed in elephants across Asia and is on the rise in India, Nepal, Myanmar and in Thailand.
Zoo scientists, in partnership with virology experts from the University of Surrey, are carrying out the research on behalf of the international conservation community, with the world’s first trial of a potential vaccine underway.
Reflecting his interest in the Commonwealth and British Overseas Territories, Sir Lindsay had the opportunity to hear about Chester Zoo’s extensive field work by visiting special behind-the-scenes conservation facilities for Bermuda snails highly endangered and seeing how these creatures previously thought to be extinct were bred at Chester Zoo and are now released in Bermuda by the thousands.
The President also learned more about efforts to combat deforestation by promoting the sustainable use of palm oil and working with UK companies to ensure supply chains do not contain products at risk of deforestation. .
During the visit, Chester Zoo’s ‘Sustainable Palm Oil Communities’ project was highlighted, which provides resources and advice to businesses and enables organizations to switch to sources of palm oil without deforestation.
This conservation work is vital as agricultural expansion accounts for around 80% of deforestation across the globe, accelerating climate change and having a seriously detrimental impact on biodiversity.
The Right Honorable Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the House of Commons, said: “What a pleasure it was to visit Chester Zoo – a conservation powerhouse. I have been so impressed with the enormous amount of vital conservation and science work being done in the North West.
“Whether it’s saving the mighty Asian elephant from extinction by developing a vaccine for them, or reintroducing thousands of tiny Bermuda snails back into the wild, Chester Zoo plays a vital role in preventing of wildlife extinction here in the UK and around the world.
“As an animal lover myself, I am proud that a UK zoo is leading the way with this groundbreaking conservation work at such a critical time for our planet, and what I saw today really puts highlight the important role our zoos play in preventing extinction and protecting our planet.
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