BREAKING: Zoo issued with formal closure notice
THE Dalton Zoo at the centre of a damning government inspection has been issued with a formal closure notice.
After earlier denying an application to renew the zoo's licence, it has made this additional order.
The zoo can remain open temporarily pending a review by its founder David Gill.
Earlier this afternoon committee members on Barrow Borough Council's licensing and regulatory subcommittee were unanimous in their decision to refuse the application.
This decision comes after shocking allegations came to light over the welfare and treatment of the animals in the park.
A report labelled conditions at the park as some of the worst seen in more than 60 years. It also listed numerous failings at a managerial level.
David Gill, the founder of the zoo was not present at today's hearing.
His lawyer, Steve Walker of Livingstons Solicitors said his client 'does not want to run this zoo anymore'.
During the hearing, committee members heard of the 'poor standard of animal husbandry' which took place at the park.
As the animal death list was read out to councillors, they were told how the figures demonstrated a clear picture of 'poor standards of animal husbandry.'
Before the list was read out, the Born Free Foundation addressed the hearing, claiming the problems at the zoo are 'fundamental' and cannot be fixed with a new licence.
Concerns have also been raised by the leading police officer in the South Lakes.
Superintendent Rob O'Connor of Cumbria Police said he has 'serious concerns' over the zoo's firearms policy.
He believes there are not not enough staff at the zoo with a firearms licence to deal with an escaped animal.
At the start of the meeting, there was a last ditch attempt by Mr Gill's legal team to halt today's proceedings, however, councillors rejected this, saying they will make a decision today.
His legal representative said he had not been given enough time to read an 800 page document prepared before the hearing.
He added that as the zoo is managed by a new company animal welfare us not an issue and it should go ahead at the same time as The Cumbria Zoo Company Ltd application in May. But councillors took a few minutes to discuss the application for adjournment in private and decided to go ahead.
Councillors said David Gill had 'every opportunity to attend today's hearing' and all protocols were followed.
The chairman, Tony Callister said: "The application for adjournment is refused. All protocols have been adhered to. David Gill has had every opportunity to attend today's meeting."