RIGA - Additional funding must be allocated to the Riga Zoo, as well as animal shelters, during the state of emergency period, as the animals in the care of these facilities must still be fed and taken care of, the chairman of the Latvian Green Party Edgars Tavars said.
"The funds the government is allocating to mitigate the economic consequences of the declared state of emergency in connection with the Covid-19 pandemic should also include the Riga Zoo, its affiliates, and the many animal shelters around the country," Tavars said.
As LETA was informed by Latvian Green Party spokeswoman Liga Bulmeistere, in sectors involving animals, there is no possibility to suspend activity, declare downtime and put workers on leave, as animals have to be cared for and fed daily. The party explains that the entrance fee for the zoo is about 51 percent of its total income.
If the state of emergency continues into May, animal welfare, animal nutrition and staffing could be disrupted and the zoo would not survive without additional help from the state and the local government, the party points out.
Due to the state of emergency situation declared in the country in wake of the Covid-19 outbreak, the Riga Zoo has been closed to visitors, however, zoo employees continue to work to feed and care for the animals.