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Durrell requests media blackout during crunch vote meeting

Durrell requests media blackout during crunch vote meeting

Thursday 02 May 2024

Durrell requests media blackout during crunch vote meeting

Thursday 02 May 2024


Durrell has requested a media blackout during tonight's crunch meeting on the future of Jersey Zoo and its leadership.

The meeting – the culmination of months of tension around the direction the Zoo was taking – will see members vote on a motion to oust the trustees of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and start an investigation into the Zoo.

But many members will have already voted online.

In advance of the meeting, Durrell sent a note to local media due to attend the meeting, banning them from providing live updates to the public.

"Photography, filming, audio recording, live streaming (including live social media updates, tweeting etc) are not permitted at the EGM," the note said.

"This is a private meeting for Durrell members to ask questions and have their voices heard, and these measures are in place to protect them and ensure confidentiality."

They cited the Trust's rules, saying there was "no authority under the Trust's rules to live-stream the EGM so it would be inappropriate for the press to do this via social media or online updates".

It said that media should also wait for Durrell to firstly make the announcement as to the result of the meeting, before sharing it with the public.

Durrell added that anyone who does not adhere to the requests "may be asked to leave the meeting".

When Express has asked for sight of the Trust's rules in relation to providing live updates, Durrell responded: "Unfortunately, any media who are not willing to comply with our requests will not be allowed into the meeting."

The details:

Tonight's EGM meeting will be taking place at the Freedom Centre tonight, starting at 18:00. It's understood that more than 440 individuals have signed up to attend.

Members who have not voted online will hear speeches and vote on the motion. The event is ticketed and Durrell have said access would be members-only.

The meeting was called after a group of members, a loosely-assembled collective calling itself 'We Love The Zoo', canvassed the 60 signatures needed to call for it.

They are due to vote on a single motion that proposes two things: for the current Board of Trustees to step down, and for a review to look into the way Jersey Zoo is being run. 

The motion reads:  

The members have lost confidence in the ability of the Trustees to protect and maintain the legacy of Gerald Durrell. We call for the resignation of the board and an independent investigation into all aspects of the current and recent management’s running of the zoo. 

If the motion is unsuccessful, former head of mammals Dominic Wormell has said that members of We Love The Zoo would continue pushing for change and bring a new motion to the next AGM, due in September or October this year. 

Follow Express for updates...

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