Keepers to re-enter tiger cages

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The Independent Online
The zoo owner John Aspinall said last night that his keepers would be going back into tiger cages "very soon" after he won another victory against the council which has tried to ban his "hands-on" policy.

An industrial tribunal in Ashford, Kent, agreed to Mr Aspinall's request to change the terms under which staff can enter tiger enclosures. New guidelines agreed at an earlier hearing had stipulated that a minimum of two keepers must be in a cage at the same time, but Mr Aspinall said this had proved to be "unworkable".

Mr Aspinall, 70, said : "The keepers will be going back in with the tigers very soon. I am relieved at the decision and this puts us back to where we were before this all happened."

Canterbury council had used the Health and Safety at Work Act to impose a ban on staff entering enclosures after a keeper was mauled to death by a 500lb male Siberian tiger at Howletts, one of two zoos owned by Mr Aspinall in Kent.

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