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Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by snowleopard, 11 Nov 2014.

  1. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I just read an article that was perplexing and somewhat shocking. Puxton Park, located near Somerset in the U.K., does not allow individual men or women into the establishment due to child protection laws. Apparently the rule has been in place since the park opened 7 years ago.

    I am a happily married man with 3 young children, yet last summer I went on a road trip through the United States and during that time I visited many small zoological attractions alone. My wife graciously stayed home in Canada with the kids while I toured 65 zoos in 20 days and many of you read my mini-reviews on ZooChat. I would have been stunned to arrive at a facility and be told that I was not allowed to enter. What do you think of the rule? I know of many zoo nerds who, unlike myself, are not married and do not have children. What would you do if you arrived at Puxton Park without researching the possibility that you would be barred from entering?

    Here is the article:

    https://ca.news.yahoo.com/theme-par...ren-incase-they-re-paedophiles-142537800.html
     
  2. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah, the story has been doing the rounds for a few days - and there are no laws which demand this course of action, it is a unilateral decision by this one location.

    Needless to say, the claim that this is something done by "all other parks" is incorrect.
     
  3. Dassie rat

    Dassie rat Well-Known Member

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    This is a blatant example of prejudice. Imagine if Puxton Park banned people on the basis of their gender, race, religion, sexuality or disability. The owners would be sued for a large sum of money and may be forced to close down. How can they be allowed to discriminate against people who travel alone? In the UK, About 20% of child abuse is done by strangers and about 80% by relatives or friends of the family. I find is sickening thatthe man concerned was considered to possibly be a paedophile, rather than someone interested in falconry. I hope that zoos, wildlife parks and aquaria do not follow the example of Puxton Park.
     
  4. dean

    dean Well-Known Member

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    I would ask them to name two other places -that people have heard of,- that follows these rules.
     
  5. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    The two additional points which people online have picked up on are as follows:

    1) As the rule prohibits single individuals, but not groups of adults, in theory anyone who did have malign intentions would just find another person to go with.

    2) The rule would not have prevented individuals such as the Wests, the Moors Murderers or other such infamous couples from visiting.
     
  6. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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    Single people take up valuable space that could be used for more profitable families. It is not a safety rule nor a morality one. It is a business decision :)
     
  7. Pacu

    Pacu Well-Known Member

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    TeaLovingDave is right. There is nothing in UK law that says this is okay but equal opportunities law certainly implies this is not okay; it is discriminatory and ignorant.
     
  8. wensleydale

    wensleydale Well-Known Member

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    Most cases of molestation and sexual violence in general are actually committed by someone who the victim has previously known, not someone they came across in a public place such as a park or zoo. That said I do believe that there are some people who should be kept out of places where children congregate, but that certainly doesn't extend to every single man and woman on the planet.

    This rule doesn't stop pedophiles from coming with children either (and you would be surprised how many pedophiles have this type of access to children.)
     
  9. elefante

    elefante Well-Known Member

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    What a discriminatory law. As a single person I would be livid if I went to a zoo and was told that.
     
  10. Batto

    Batto Well-Known Member

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  11. Big Rob

    Big Rob Well-Known Member

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    I am a keen photographer and am a member of a photography forum,Talk Photography,and this has been a hot topic of conversation since Monday morning. The thread has had over 250 comments with over 5000 views.

    This is the quote from the park in question.

    “Some adults may be interested in our falconry department and we offer falconry experience days which are open to all. We have not set out to discriminate against single adults but we take child protection extremely seriously.

    “We would rather be over zealous when unaccompanied adults visit us armed with cameras than put children at any potential risk.

    I wonder why its got the photograhers so wound up.:eek:
     
  12. Batto

    Batto Well-Known Member

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    Maybe locals should introduce a "Rent-a-child" service so that adult singles will have a child accompanying them;). Special offers for twins. Well behaving kids cost extra.
     
  13. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    Don't agree, at least if this is a generalisation. There are many periods e.g. term-time weekdays when children are at school etc and wintertime when Zoos and the like, the ones that stay open that is, are often very empty. I imagine most- apart from this place- welcome single customers at these times- better than none at all. I accept this place is not a traditional zoo though, more a childrens' park but with some animal attractions attatched to it,so a bit different situation maybe.

    I think this is political correctness gone mad. I have always preferred visiting Zoos on my own (even when my own family was young:D) and hope to continue doing so without this sort of silly intervention. I hope it does not spread from this one centre to any other establishments such as animal collections. Someone did once mention before on here that a single adult wandering around at somewhere like Drusillas in Sussex, which is basically a small children's playpark with animals, might well feel uncomfortable and rather out of place and I can sort of identify/agree with that. But in general I would be hopping mad if confronted by such a decision anywhere.

    Is it even legal to discriminate like that?
     
    Last edited: 12 Nov 2014
  14. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    I wonder what would happen if a teacher or a social worker or someone else with a current criminal record clearance certificate was turned away. Do all their employees have such clearance?

    Alan
     
  15. adrian1963

    adrian1963 Well-Known Member

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    I wonder what would happen if a member of staff turned up on their day off by themselves would they be allowed in.
    If so then surely this is wrong and blatantly going against their own rules?
     
  16. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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    No, more of a sarcastic response to a ridiculous groundless policy
     
  17. Parrotsandrew

    Parrotsandrew Well-Known Member

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    I do know a member of this site who experienced a similar policy when he tried to visit a park - I shall leave it to him to decide whether or not to post details. When I visited the Animal Education Centre in Hull in 2006 (and I was the only visitor at the time of the incident) I was taking some general photos of the place when I was approached by a keeper and asked "not to take any photos when there are kids on the premises". He went on to say that if I did, parents could request copies of all my photos - they'd have got some nice ones of parrots etc if they did. I felt I was almost being accused of something and needless to say I was most unhappy. I have not been back there since, and for a while I was very worried that this policy may spread elsewhere. I hope I do not have to start worrying again.
     
  18. bongorob

    bongorob Well-Known Member

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    On what grounds? None that I know of.
     
  19. Parrotsandrew

    Parrotsandrew Well-Known Member

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    Just in case their child appeared on one I presume, but on what legal grounds I'm certainly not sure.
     
  20. mrcriss

    mrcriss Well-Known Member

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    EH????????:confused::confused:

    That's 3.25 zoos per day!!!! Including travel time between them.

    Are you a wizard?