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Fife Animal Park Zoo owner 'mistreated' animals at his Fife visitor attraction

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by TeaLovingDave, 8 Sep 2014.

  1. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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  2. bigcat speciali

    bigcat speciali Well-Known Member

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    I believe the pictures in this article says it all and the rather misguided judgement from the owner. Fife Animal Park bosses hit back at charity regulator OSCR | Deadline News

    THE OWNER of a Scottish animal park has blamed its closure on charity regulators – claiming they caused the death of at least one animal and suffering to others.
    But Peter Lockhart, who owns Fife Animal Park, has given a cast-iron guarantee that all but three of the 390 animals will be rehomed.
    It was revealed earlier this week that the seven-year-old park near Cupar was closing, sparking fears from animal charities that creatures including Scottish wildcats would be destroyed.
    Mr Lockhart and Mr Lockhart Senior say the tight constraints placed on them led to animal welfare issues
    Mr Lockhart and Mr Lockhart Senior say the tight constraints placed on them led to animal welfare issues
    Mr Lockhart claimed that the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR), the body which monitors charities north of the border, was responsible for the park’s demise.
    He claimed a buyer was prepared to pay £500,000 to take over the park last October but was scared off after the OSCR started an investigation into claims charitable assets were included in the sale.
    Mr Lockhart, 50, said: “We knew the animals were not ours to sell and made it clear from day one that we were selling the land on the condition the new owners would take over the trust and keep the park open.
    Surplus animals are usually moved off the park but this never happened and so pens soon became muddy due to over crowding
    Surplus animals are usually moved off the park but this never happened and so pens soon became muddy due to over crowding
    “But as soon as OSCR stepped in they made our lives a living hell and we were forced to keep animals in awful conditions because if we moved them we would face prosecution.
    “We couldn’t take any animals off the land without OSCR’s permission and so when our red ruffed lemur fell sick during the Christmas period we couldn’t get him medical attention.”
    Peter Lockhart and his father, Jock, built the park up from scratch
    Peter Lockhart and his father, Jock, built the park up from scratch
    Mr Lockhart said no-one at the OSCR could be contacted over Christmas to give permission for treatment. The lemur, called Charlie, later died.
    Mr Lockhart said other animals, including pigs, ponies and alpacas, were living in bad conditions because they faced a £2,500 fine and prison for moving the animals from the park without the permission of OSCR.
    Charles sadly died as the result of a mystery illness but fear of prosecution stopped veterinary intervention
    Charles sadly died as the result of a mystery illness but fear of prosecution stopped veterinary intervention
    “The conditions we were forced to keep the animals in were horrendous as they were so overstocked,” he said.
    “For the first time in our lives felt we had let the animals down.”
    The land is owned by Mr Lockhart and his 72-year-old father Jock Lockhart, who has decided to retire, sparking the sale. The animal park itself is a registered charity.
    Some of the park's animals such as Ameera the meerkat have hit the headlines before for their star roles at the park
    Some of the park’s animals such as Ameera the meerkat have hit the headlines before for their star roles at the park
    The OSCR started an investigation after a member of the public alleged the sale of the land included the animals, which belong to the charity.
    Jock Lockhart said of the OSCR: “The whole investigation was completely unfounded and they have failed in their duty to protect the animals and their welfare. Where is the charity in what they have done?”
    The closure of the park also means that all 45 members of staff and volunteers have now been left without a job.
    The Lockharts and the charity’s trustees are now working closely with Fife Council, which is getting a court order to take legal control over the animals.
    The Lockharts said homes had already been found for all the animals apart from three pigs.
    Mr Lockhart added that he has already been in contact with the Scottish Wildcat Breeding Programme who will rehome the park’s breeding pair.
    OSCR’s Head of Enforcement, Laura Anderson, rebuffed the claims however.
    She said: “We strongly dispute any allegation that our protective action resulted in the closure of the Fife Animal Park.
    “We received a complaint about the charity (The Fife Animal Trust) and, as Regulator, we have a public duty to take action where the actions of charity trustees risk charitable assets or the reputation of the sector.
    “Our intervention was a necessary precaution.”
    “We will continue to work with the Council to achieve a satisfactory outcome and will publish a full Inquiry Report in due course.”
     
  3. bigcat speciali

    bigcat speciali Well-Known Member

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    BBC News - Fife Animal Park owner faces animal welfare charges

    A zoo owner is facing animal welfare charges including leaving an emu suffering from a beak ulcer.

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

    Mr Lockhart faces allegations of causing animals unnecessary suffering and failing to ensure their welfare.

    It is alleged between 24 January 2013 and 14 February 2014 Mr Lockhart failed to provide animals with a "suitable, clean and ventilated environment".

    He is also accused of buying lemurs, tortoises, marmosets and wildcats without permission.

    Prosecutors at Dundee Sheriff Court said Mr Lockhart also displayed and offered for sale three Hermann's tortoises at the park between 27 June 2010 and 14 February 2014.

    Three further charges accused Lockhart of failing to apply and identify three animals - including a zebra - at the park with "horse passports".

    Suffering and disease
    He is further alleged to have failed to provide adequate bedding and a suitable balanced and varied diet, failing to provide treatment from conditions they were suffering from and failing to protect the animals from injury, suffering and disease.

    Another allegation states that he failed to provide sufficient nutrition to two Hermann's tortoises, while a third alleges he failed to provide treatment to an emu for ulceration to its beak as well as failing to provide it with "a suitable environment or exposure to external stimuli".

    Further charges claim he bought and displayed "for commercial gain" two ring-tailed lemurs, one red-ruffed lemur, two black and white-ruffed lemurs, five Swinhoe's pheasants, an eagle owl, two barn owls, two wildcats, a Lesser Sulphone Crested cockatoo and a Geoffrey's marmoset without authority to do so.

    Mr Lockhart, 50, from Newton of Falkland, Fife, faces a total of 16 charges under the Animal Health and Welfare Act, the Control of Trade in Endangered Species Regulations and the Horse Identification (Scotland) Regulations.

    Fife Animal Park
    The park was put up for sale in 2013 but the sale was blocked by the charity regulator
    Defence solicitor Amy Fox said Mr Lockhart was not yet in a position to enter a plea in the case.

    Sheriff Charles Macnair QC continued the case without plea for three weeks for discussions between the Crown and defence lawyers.

    Fife Animal Park closed to the public in February. The 10-acre park housed 76 species including a zebra, Shetland ponies, meerkats, raccoons and owls.

    The park was put up for sale in 2013, but this was blocked by the charity regulator as it wanted to clarify which animals were owned by the Fife Animal Trust.

    Shortly after its closure, Fife Council's protective services senior manager Roy Stewart said: "The welfare of the animals at Fife Animal Park is our primary concern at this time.

    "Although Fife Council doesn't own the park or the animals it has a duty to protect them and legally they are now in our care."

    Shortly after its closure nine wallabies and an emu were adopted by the Five Sisters Zoo in West Calder.
     
  4. bigcat speciali

    bigcat speciali Well-Known Member

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    The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator has disputed claims that its actions caused the closure of Fife Animal Park and put its animals at risk.

    Fife Animal Park was closed to the public last Monday, according to a note posted on its website, although a café and shop remain open. The park was run by two entities, Fife Animal Trust, registered as both a charity and a company, and Fife Animal Park Ltd, which was dissolved in June last year. The trust remains active.

    After the park was put up for sale, the OSCR issued a direction on 1 November ordering the trustees of the trust "not to sell, transfer or otherwise dispose of any charitable assets". Failure to comply with such a direction can result in a fine of up to £2,500 and up to three months in prison.

    A spokesman for the OSCR said it intervened because the sale schedule included charitable assets – including the animals and some equipment – that it had not said could be sold. It also intervened because the schedule was "misleading because it fails to fully explain the relationship between the charity and other parts of the business and it gives the impression that the charity is involved in the sale".

    The direction, valid for six months, also said the OSCR should be notified of any animal welfare issues arising, including any instance where there was a need to transfer animals to another park or zoo.

    The local newspaper The Courier reported that Peter Lockhart, manager of Fife Animal Trust, had said that the OSCR order had meant that park staff had been forced to keep animals in "horrendous" conditions and blamed the regulator for the death of a lemur. Lockhart did not respond to calls from Third Sector.

    Laura Anderson, head of enforcement at the OSCR, said: "We strongly dispute any allegation that our protective action resulted in the closure of the Fife Animal Park.

    "We have a public duty to take action where the actions of charity trustees risk charitable assets or the reputation of the sector. Our intervention was a necessary precaution."

    She also said that the animals’ welfare "has been of concern to us from the outset", and that it remained in contact with Fife Council, which is currently responsible for the animals.

    "We will continue to work with the council to achieve a satisfactory outcome and will publish a full inquiry report in due course," said Anderson.

    Roy Stewart, senior manager of protective services at the council, said a number of enquiries about re-homing animals had been received since the park closed, and the council had been working closely with the trust staff, the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the OSCR.

    Richard Gardiner of the accountancy firm Thomson Cooper, who was appointed liquidator of Fife Animal Park Ltd on 3 May 2012 and acted as liquidator until 6 March 2013, said he was unaware of Lockhart’s comments and unable to comment.

    The March 2013 notice of the final meeting of creditors said the prime reason for it to stop trading was to protect the welfare of the animals.

    Scottish regulator denies its intervention caused the closure of Fife Animal Park | Third Sector
     
  5. bigcat speciali

    bigcat speciali Well-Known Member

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    Fife Animal Park owner faces animal welfare charges - The Scotsman

    A ZOO owner is facing court accused of a string of animal welfare charges including leaving an emu suffering from a painful beak ulcer and buying lemurs, tortoises, marmosets and wildcats without permission.

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

    Now Lockhart faces allegations of causing animals unnecessary suffering and failing to ensure their welfare at the park.

    It is alleged that between January 24 2013 and February 14 this year Lockhart failed to provide fish, reptiles, birds, mammals, primates and rodents at the park with a “suitable, clean and ventilated environment”.

    He is further alleged to have failed to provide adequate bedding and a suitable balanced and varied diet, failed to provide treatment from conditions they were suffering from and failed to protect the animals from injury, suffering and disease.

    Another allegation states that he failed to provide sufficient nutrition to two Hermann’s tortoises, while a third alleges he failed to provide treatment to an Emu to ulceration to it’s beak as well as failing to provide it with “a suitable environment or exposure to external stimuli”.

    Further charges claim he bought and displayed “for commercial gain” two ring tailed lemurs, one red ruffed lemur, two black and white ruffed lemurs, five swinhoes pheasants, an eagle owl, two barn owls, two wildcats, a Lesser Sulphone Crested Cockatoo and a Geoffrey’s mamoset without authority to do so.

    Prosecutors say Lockhart also displayed and offered for sale three Hermann’s tortoises at the park between June 27 2010 and February 14 2014.

    Three further charges accused Lockhart of failing to apply and identify three animals - including a zebra - at the park with horse passports.

    Lockhart, 50, of Glen Newton, Newton of Falkland, Fife, faces a total of 16 charges under the Animal Health and Welfare Act, the Control of Trade in Endangered Species Regulations and the Horse Identification (Scotland) Regulations.

    Plea

    Defence solicitor Amy Fox said Lockhart was not yet in a position to enter a plea in the case.

    Sheriff Charles Macnair QC continued the case without plea for three weeks for discussions between the Crown and defence lawyers.

    Fife Animal Park closed to the public in February. The 10-acre park housed 76 species including a zebra, Shetland ponies, meerkats, raccoons and owls.

    The park was put up for sale in 2013, but this was blocked by the charity regulator, as it wanted to clarify which animals were owned by the Fife Animal Trust.

    Shortly after its closure, Fife Council’s protective services senior manager Roy Stewart said: “The welfare of the animals at Fife Animal Park is our primary concern at this time.

    “Although Fife Council doesn’t own the park or the animals it has a duty to protect them and legally they are now in our care.”

    Shortly after its closure nine wallabies and an emu were adopted by the Five Sisters Zoo in West Calder.
     
  6. ISOE2012

    ISOE2012 Well-Known Member

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    Deluded man - good riddance.
     
  7. Devi

    Devi Well-Known Member

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    Is there any merit in the allegation that OSCR blocked them going to vets or moving animals? Cause if so surely they need investigating too.
     
  8. bigcat speciali

    bigcat speciali Well-Known Member

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    There is no such evidence albeit heresy from the owner, Mr Lockhart jnr & snr.
     
  9. bigcat speciali

    bigcat speciali Well-Known Member

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    BBC News - Fife Animal Park owner admits animal welfare charges

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

    He admitted to failing to ensure the welfare of the animals in his park and trading in endangered species without a licence.

    Mr Lockhart, 50, of Glen Newton, Newton of Falkland, Fife, pleaded guilty to nine of 16 charges. Sentence was deferred for two months.

    Dundee Sheriff Court heard that for almost nine months leading up to the park's closure Mr Lockhart had failed to ensure the needs of the "fish, reptiles, birds, mammals, primates and rodents" within the park were met.

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

    Mr Lockhart also admitted failing to provide a suitable diet for the animals or adequate treatment for conditions they were suffering from. He admitted his failure to protect them from injury, suffering or disease.

    He further admitted breaching Control of Trade in Endangered Species Regulations, and displaying animals including ring-tailed lemurs, wild cats and a Lesser Sulphon crested cockatoo for commercial purposes without a license.

    The court heard that Mr Lockhart also displayed and offered for sale three Hermanns tortoises at the park between 27 June 2010 and 14 February 2014.

    Mr Lockhart faced a total of 16 charges. The Crown accepted his plea of guilty to nine and not guilty to seven, including charges of not having a "horse passport" for a zebra at the park."

    "John McLaughlin, defending, said Mr Lockhart was about to leave the country to visit the Philippines for two months.

    He said: "In the circumstances the court may be thinking of something more than a fine."

    Sheriff David Hall deferred sentence.

    Fife Animal Park closed to the public in February. The 10-acre park housed 76 species including a zebra, Shetland ponies, meerkats, raccoons and owls.

    The park was put up for sale in 2013, but this was blocked by the charity regulator as it wanted to clarify which animals were owned by the Fife Animal Trust.

    Shortly after its closure, Fife Council's protective services senior manager Roy Stewart said: "The welfare of the animals at Fife Animal Park is our primary concern at this time.

    "Although Fife Council doesn't own the park or the animals it has a duty to protect them and legally they are now in our care."

    Shortly after its closure nine wallabies and an emu were adopted by the Five Sisters Zoo in West Calder."
     
  10. bigcat speciali

    bigcat speciali Well-Known Member

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    Fife Animal Park owner Peter Lockhart admits animal welfare charges | Dundee & Tayside | News

    "A Fife zoo owner admitted a string of animal welfare charges including trading in endangered species without a licence.

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

    But now he could face a prison term after he admitted failing to ensure the welfare of the animals in his park, as well as trading in endangered species without a licence.

    Dundee Sheriff Court heard that for almost nine months leading up to the park's closure Lockhart had failed to ensure the needs of the "fish, reptiles, birds, mammals, primates and rodents" within the park were met.

    He admitted that 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 protect them from injury, suffering or disease.

    The 50-year-old further admitted breaching strict Control of Trade in Endangered Species Regulations.

    He admitted that he displayed ring-tailed lemurs, red ruffed lemurs, black and white ruffed lemurs, a Geoffrey's marmoset, two wild cats, a Lesser Sulphon crested cockatoo and five Swinhoes pheasants for commercial purposes without a licence.

    The court heard that Lockhart also displayed and offered for sale three Hermanns tortoises at the park between June 27, 2010 and February 14, 2014.

    Lockhart, 50, of Glen Newton, Newton of Falkland, Fife, faced a total of 16 charges under the Animal Health and Welfare Act, the Control of Trade in Endangered Species Regulations and the Horse Identification (Scotland) Regulations.

    However, the Crown accepted his guilty pleas to nine of those charges and not guilty to seven, including charges of not having a horse passport for a zebra at the park.

    Lockhart could face up to three months in jail for the licensing offences and up to six months for the offence under the Animal Health and Welfare Act.

    John McLaughlin, defending, said Lockhart was about to leave the country to visit the Phillipines for two months.

    He said: "In the circumstances the court may be thinking of something more than a fine."

    Sheriff David Hall deferred sentence for two months for Lockhart to be of good behaviour and to appear again when he returns from the Phillipines.

    Fife Animal Park closed to the public in February. The 10-acre park housed 76 species including a zebra, Shetland ponies, meerkats, raccoons and owls.

    The park was put up for sale in 2013, but this was blocked by the charity regulator, as it wanted to clarify which animals were owned by the Fife Animal Trust.

    Shortly after its closure, Fife Council's protective services senior manager Roy Stewart said: "The welfare of the animals at Fife Animal Park is our primary concern at this time.

    "Although Fife Council doesn't own the park or the animals it has a duty to protect them and legally they are now in our care."

    Shortly after its closure nine wallabies and an emu were adopted by the Five Sisters Zoo in West Calder."
     
  11. bigcat speciali

    bigcat speciali Well-Known Member

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    Scottish regulator denies its intervention caused the closure of Fife Animal Park | Third Sector

    Scottish regulator denies its intervention caused the closure of Fife Animal Park
    24 February 2014 by Sam Burne James, Be the First to Comment

    The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator responds to comments by the manager of Fife Animal Trust suggesting that its actions put animals' welfare at risk

    Fife Animal ParkFife Animal Park
    The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator has disputed claims that its actions caused the closure of Fife Animal Park and put its animals at risk.

    Fife Animal Park was closed to the public last Monday, according to a note posted on its website, although a café and shop remain open. The park was run by two entities, Fife Animal Trust, registered as both a charity and a company, and Fife Animal Park Ltd, which was dissolved in June last year. The trust remains active.

    After the park was put up for sale, the OSCR issued a direction on 1 November ordering the trustees of the trust "not to sell, transfer or otherwise dispose of any charitable assets". Failure to comply with such a direction can result in a fine of up to £2,500 and up to three months in prison.

    A spokesman for the OSCR said it intervened because the sale schedule included charitable assets – including the animals and some equipment – that it had not said could be sold. It also intervened because the schedule was "misleading because it fails to fully explain the relationship between the charity and other parts of the business and it gives the impression that the charity is involved in the sale".

    The direction, valid for six months, also said the OSCR should be notified of any animal welfare issues arising, including any instance where there was a need to transfer animals to another park or zoo.

    The local newspaper The Courier reported that Peter Lockhart, manager of Fife Animal Trust, had said that the OSCR order had meant that park staff had been forced to keep animals in "horrendous" conditions and blamed the regulator for the death of a lemur. Lockhart did not respond to calls from Third Sector.

    Laura Anderson, head of enforcement at the OSCR, said: "We strongly dispute any allegation that our protective action resulted in the closure of the Fife Animal Park.

    "We have a public duty to take action where the actions of charity trustees risk charitable assets or the reputation of the sector. Our intervention was a necessary precaution."

    She also said that the animals’ welfare "has been of concern to us from the outset", and that it remained in contact with Fife Council, which is currently responsible for the animals.

    "We will continue to work with the council to achieve a satisfactory outcome and will publish a full inquiry report in due course," said Anderson.

    Roy Stewart, senior manager of protective services at the council, said a number of enquiries about re-homing animals had been received since the park closed, and the council had been working closely with the trust staff, the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the OSCR.

    Richard Gardiner of the accountancy firm Thomson Cooper, who was appointed liquidator of Fife Animal Park Ltd on 3 May 2012 and acted as liquidator until 6 March 2013, said he was unaware of Lockhart’s comments and unable to comment.

    The March 2013 notice of the final meeting of creditors said the prime reason for it to stop trading was to protect the welfare of the animals.
     
  12. bigcat speciali

    bigcat speciali Well-Known Member

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  13. bigcat speciali

    bigcat speciali Well-Known Member

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    Fife Animal Park owner given ban A man who owned a zoo in Fife has been banned from owning animals, after admitting keeping several species in squalid conditions.
    Peter Lockart, who ran the Fife Animal Park in Collessie, admitted nine offences at Dundee Sheriff court.
    An investigation found an emu was being kept in a windowless room and tortoises in inappropriate surroundings. Lockart also displayed protected species without valid certificates.
     
  14. bigcat speciali

    bigcat speciali Well-Known Member

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    Fife Animal Park co-owner avoids jail for severe neglect of animals - Fife / Local / News / The Courier

    "The co-owner of Fife Animal Park who submitted various animals to severe neglect at the former zoo has avoided jail.

    Peter Lockhart, of Newton of Falkland, was instead fined £2,000 by Sheriff Tom Hughes at Dundee Sheriff Court and banned from keeping animals for five years.

    Lockhart, 50, had previously admitted failing to protect the welfare of the animals at the former tourist
attraction.

    Fife Animal Park closed to the public in February. The 10-acre park had housed 76 species including a zebra, Shetland ponies, meerkats, raccoons and owls.

    Lockhart admitted failing to provide a suitable, clean and ventilated environment for the animals at the park, near Cupar.

    He also pleaded guilty to not providing the animals with a suitable diet, or adequate treatment for conditions that they were suffering from, or protecting them from injury, suffering or disease."
     
  15. bigcat speciali

    bigcat speciali Well-Known Member

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    BBC News - Zoo owner banned from keeping animals

    "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."