Campaigners welcome SNP move to ban wild animals in travelling circuses

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“Well let’s hope this has more luck than the supposed ban on animals in circuses in England…which after several years of being promised is still no further on; pitiful & Lame! Scotland I hope you implement the new laws quickly & put England to shame!”

By:-Daniel Sanderson, Scottish Political Correspondent

The move follows concern over the treatment of animals exploited to entertain circus crowds

ANIMAL rights campaigners have welcomed a commitment to ban the use of wild animals in travelling circuses in Scotland.

The move would deliver on an SNP manifesto commitment and follows a 2014 consultation in which 98 per cent of the public backed a ban.

That year, it emerged that two lions and three tigers were spending the winter in small cages in Aberdeenshire, leading ministers to commit to “look carefully” at introducing legislation.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman confirmed that it now “intends to ban the use of wild animals in travelling circuses.” She added: “We are currently investigating the best mechanism for introducing legislation on ethical grounds and will make further announcements in due course.”

The Born Free Foundation, an international wildlife charity, said it was “delighted” with the pledge, which means Scotland is on course to become the first part of the UK to introduce a ban, although they are widespread across the world.

However, it said questions remained over the timescale and called for swift action. Chris Draper, programmes manager for captive wild animals, said: The Government in Westminster has promised a similar ban in England but has not proceeded with bringing in the already-written legislation. We would hate to see Scotland replicate the mistakes and delays that have occurred south of the border, and urge the Scottish Government to act swiftly to end the practice once and for all.”

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) and its Scottish Branch also welcomed the announcement.

A spokesman said: “The welfare needs of non-domesticated, wild animals cannot be met within a travelling circus in terms of housing nor being able to express normal behaviour. While this specific issue may not affect a great number of individual animals in the UK, we nevertheless believe it is emblematic of the way we treat all animals under human care.

“We are pleased to see the new Scottish Government not only identifying opportunities to improve animal health and welfare in Scotland, but taking hold of these opportunities with both hands – and we would urge other UK Governments to follow their lead.”

News Link:-http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/14556767.Campaigners_welcome_SNP_move_to_ban_wild_animals_in_travelling_circuses/

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Graphic Video – Animals Australia; Greyhound Racing, What Everyone Needs To Know – Petition To Sign

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Greyhound racing authorities publicly call it ‘abhorrent’. They also say it has been ‘outlawed’. But that hasn’t stopped high profile trainers across the country from subjecting defenceless animals to barbaric live baiting rituals in an attempt to gain a ‘winning’ edge on the racetrack.

Viewer Discretion Advised

Published on 18 Feb 2015

They’re the victims you’ll never see at the racetrack. Tied up, terrified, and savagely mauled in widespread ‘live baiting’ sessions. Groundbreaking Animals Australia / Animal Liberation Qld investigations uncover the shocking truth. More @http://www.GreyhoundCruelty.com

***WARNING*** Please note that this video contains footage of which many will find distressing. To take immediate action to help animals without watching the video, head to http://www.GreyhoundCruelty.com

POSSUMS  

Native possums — a protected species — were also tied to lures and flung violently around training tracks. Before being used as live bait, one mother possum watched on helplessly as her baby was killed in front of her.

PIGLETS  

Piglets — one of the most intelligent and sensitive of all species — were a common choice among live baiters. Their futile squeals could be heard as their bodies were torn apart.

RABBITS  

After several laps, rabbits with pieces torn from their bodies twitch and writhe in agony. Their spine-chilling screams ring out across the training track.

KITTENS  

While investigation footage captured only piglets, rabbits and possums — kittens have long been reported to be among the victims of live baiting, too.

Investigation footage shows naturally gentle dogs provoked into displaying aggressive and violent behaviour in ‘blooding’ sessions. Those who don’t race fast enough to turn a profit are often killed — sometimes they are shot.

The inherent conflict of interest presented by those ‘promoting’ the sport also ‘policing’ it could not be more damning. While self-regulation continues, there can be little hope that live baiting will ever be eradicated from this industry.

You can help put a stop to this cruelty. Make your voice heard today.

The damning Animals Australia and Animal Liberation Qld investigations have revealed that this sadistic training method is all too common.Terrified piglets, rabbits and native possums are all victims of live baiting — tied to lures, flung around racetracks at breakneck speeds, and then mauled to death. Some animals who survived their first attack were ‘re-used’ multiple times…

Bait‘ animals are not the only victims of this industry. Greyhounds themselves — naturally gentle dogs — are often kept in deplorable living conditions off-track. Live baiters will taunt and incite their dogs to chase, attack, and ultimately kill small animals.

If dogs fail to ‘perform’, they too may be killed. Industry-wide, some 18,000 greyhounds are killed every year because they aren’t deemed fast enough to win races.

The big question is — how can state governments and sponsors continue to support an industry that has been exposed for such abhorrent widespread illegal activity?

With the horrific revelations of live baiting cruelty in the greyhound racing industry following our investigations, I have been desperate to share with you a side to greyhounds that didn’t make it to the media this week. This little video has gone viral — watch it now and you’ll see why!

Published on 22 Feb 2015

If you’ve ever wanted a gentle, loyal, loving couch-potato to share your home with, consider adopting or fostering a greyhound today:http://www.AnimalsAus.org/beg

Despite their deep pockets, greyhound racing authorities have utterly failed to take effective action to address shocking brutality and illegal activity at the heart of this ‘sport’. Apparently, they didn’t even know about it. That is, until investigations by two small charities on a shoestring budget exposed routine and systemic ‘live baiting’…

 Something else that will you make you smile: Schweppes, Hyundai and Bendigo Bank are just some of the big names to end their support of this cruel industry in recent days:
Schweppes, Hyundai, McDonald's, Autobarn, Bendigo Bank, Century 21In fact, of all the major corporate supporters, just one company continues to support greyhound racing. Click here to see who’s left.
 The greyhound racing industry is on notice. Those who are willing to tie up, torture and kill animals in pursuit of a ‘win’ now have a national spotlight on their activities for the first time. With dozens of trainers now suspended, thousands of possums, rabbits and piglets will now be spared from the horror of being used as ‘live bait’. But while greyhound racing continues, we fear that innocent animals will still be tied up and mauled to death on private training tracks — albeit more carefully hidden.

If you haven’t already, please click here to add your voice to over 100,000 people taking a stand against greyhound racing cruelty. If you have — please share this with your friends and family today.

TAKE ACTION NOW

Together we can end greyhound racing cruelty, once and for all.

 Lyn White AM
Campaign Director

 Thank you.

Animals Australia and our colleagues at Animal Liberation Qld have been overwhelmed by the response to our investigations into the greyhound racing industry. Because you spoke out, this industry is under more scrutiny than ever before. State governments have launched inquiries; industry heavyweights have been stood down; sponsors are backing out; and commentators are questioning the future of the ‘sport’. Importantly, thousands of animals will be spared from the terror of being used as ‘live bait’. But there’s still much to do.

Please keep your voices loud, for the animals.

Animals AustraliaAnimal Liberation Qld

GREAT BRITAIN – Dark side of Greyhound Racing Investigation by BBC Panorama full Documentary 2014

Published on 4 Nov 2014

Panorama –
03/11/2014
The integrity of greyhound racing has been called into question by a Panorama investigation which has exposed blatant cheating and the drugging of dogs at the heart of the sport.
The undercover investigation caught a trainer revealing how he dopes greyhounds in order to effect betting coups – some of which he claims to have paid out up to £150,000.
The programme’s findings have prompted animal welfare campaigners to call for the government to reconsider the sport’s self-regulatory status.

Essex Horse Sanctuary ‘inundated’ with abandoned animals

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“Where I live there are many travellers horses grazing at the side of the road! I fear for their safety & that of the people travelling past in cars that may not see them until it’s too late. In previous years, before being in wheelchair, I have had to go round-up loose horses & wait whilst police try to find the owners; but without the horses being chipped the police have no idea who they belong to! So we have just had to move them away from the road & hope the travellers or owners will see to them.

An Essexhorse sanctuary has said it has been “inundated” with animals that are being dumped in fields to “fly-graze” without the permission of landowners.

Remus Memorial Horse Sanctuary, near Ingatestone, has had to turn away horses and said the recent floods have made conditions worse for abandoned animals.

The RSPCA said most of the horses are not micro-chipped so the owners cannot be traced.

The government has said it is looking for ways to tighten laws to stop horses being deserted.

Cordelia Hemming reports: News Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-essex-26314152

Essex horse sanctuary ‘inundated’ with abandoned animals, BBC News

Published on 23 Feb 2014

An Essex horse sanctuary has said it has been “inundated” with animals that are being dumped in fields to “fly-graze” without the permission of landowners.

Remus Memorial Horse Sanctuary, near Ingatestone, has had to turn away horses and said the recent floods have made conditions worse for abandoned animals.

The RSPCA said most of the horses are not micro-chipped so the owners cannot be traced.

The government has said it is looking for ways to tighten laws to stop horses being deserted.

Cordelia Hemming reports.

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Shocking photos show the moment a fox is dragged out of its hole by hunters and shot in front of children as young as FIVE

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“THIS DESPICABLE HEINOUS CRIME MUST STOP….PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION BELOW. How can anyone say that chasing an animal with the intention to kill it is a normal act! These POS get a buzz out of chasing a small animal, purely to kill it…it’s the thrill of the chase; & they love it!!”

By LIZZIE EDMONDS – 27 January 2014

  • Images, released by anti-hunt campaigners, show men setting dog on fox
  • They then use spades to dig creature out of a hole before shooting it dead
  • Critics have today condemned ‘cruel’ and ‘horrific’ incident 
  • But Countryside Alliance say the men acted legally under Hunting Act

This is the moment a fox was dragged out of a hole and shot dead while children as young as five watched on.

The images, released by anti-hunt campaigners, show a group of terriermen setting their dog on the  creature.

The fox tries attempts to hide in a badger’s sett – but the three adults fire into the ground and use spades to dig it out.

These images show the moment a group of men unearthed and shot a fox as three young children watched on

A farmer who captured the killing on camera says the group then called over three children to show them the remains.

The men can then be seen walking away with two dead animals. It is unclear where and how the second fox was killed.

The shocking incident happened shortly after a hunt on December 28 by the Modbury Harriers, which rides in south Devon.

The League Against Cruel Sports has handed the photos over to the RSPCA and asked them to investigate it as a possible breach of the Hunting Act..

The law bans hunting foxes with a pack of hounds – however it doesn’t cover the use of dogs to flush out animals underground.

The farmer, who has asked not to be identified, said the fox was initially chased across the field by hounds.

The Countryside Alliance said there was ‘no question’ the behaviour was legal – describing the killing as ‘professional and humane’.

“Just read the above comment on the picture…how can any sane animal lover, who owns just a dog or cat; say this is normal!! I see no difference in this than I do inhumane POS chasing & killing elephants or rhino…they are all sentient beings FFS!!”

The huntsmen moved on but before it could climb out of the badger’s set three men with guns and spades arrived – with three children following close behind.

The farmer said: ‘I sat there in disbelief – how could those guys think any of what had played out was fit for young children to witness?

‘I watched in horror as a whole pack of hounds poured into our neighbour’s field then piled into our meadow.

They made that hideous blood-curdling squealing – known as ‘speaking’ – which means they are on the scent of a fox.

‘I saw a beautiful vixen flash across the meadow and disappear into an old badger sett on my neighbour’s farm.

‘At the top of the hill I saw a couple of guys carrying spades and a terrier on a lead. They were going to dig her out and kill her right then and there.

‘The men came down and filled in the exit holes to stop the fox escaping and then called the children over to watch as they dug out and killed the young vixen.’

Sick Neanderthals!!

The farmer said the three men came across a second badger inside the hole which they also shot dead as the children craned their necks to see what was happening.

He added: ‘This is the dirty underbelly of fox hunting, the bit they don’t like even their followers to see.

‘But I was disgusted to see the terriermen had brought three youngsters to watch – one was only about five years old.

The farmer, who keeps a flock of 140 breeding ewes and a few chickens, is strongly anti-hunting and has complained about huntsmen trespassing on his land.

oe Duckworth, chief executive of the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS), said: ‘This horrific incident of animal cruelty shows not only a total disregard for the dogs and foxes but also for the welfare of the children.’

The Countryside Alliance, however, said there was ‘no question’ the behaviour was legal – describing the killing as ‘professional and humane’.

Spokesman Tim Bonner said the outrage merely demonstrated that outsiders do not ‘understand the realities of the countryside and country life’.

Mr Bonner said he had spoken to the hunt, who told him the killing had been carried out as ‘pest control” with the permission of the landowner.

He said: ‘The children were not in the hole – they were close by – and as far as we are concerned it was a totally professional operation and nothing which should upset anyone.

‘They were using the terrier work exemption and properly, professionally and humanely managing the killing of those two foxes.

‘There would be plenty of children of that sort of age involved in pheasant shoots and ferreting.

‘The vast majority of children eat meat and at the end of the day it is a dead animal.’

The Hunting act:-

The Hunting Act came in to force in February 2005 and was passed under the 1997 Labour government. It bans hunting any wild mammal  – including foxes, deer and hares -with dogs in England and Wales.

Under the Act it is completely legal to ‘flush out’ – i.e. coax an animal from a hole or a sett – with dogs.

It is also legal to drag hunt with hounds. This is when the dogs are trained to follow an artificial scent and is now common practice across the country.

Hunting mammals with dogs was banned in Scotland two years earlier under the Protection of Wild Mammals Act 2002.

It is still legal to hunt in Northern Ireland.

Breaking the law is a summary offence. Those found guilty of doing so would be fined.

There were 181 convictions under the Hunting Act up to the end of 2010.

Petition Link:-http://www.yousign.org/en/justice-for-uk-fox

News Link:-http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2546867/Shocking-photos-moment-fox-dragged-hole-hunters-shot-children-young-FIVE.html

Baby Girl Is Mauled To Death By Pitbull: Neighbours Say They Warned Police Of The Danger As Couple Are Arrested

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“How many times do we have to go over this; it’s the bloody owners that give this breed a bad rap! Irresponsible owner’s are one of the major causes for all the problems the breed faces today.  Pitbulls have long been selectively bred, over the years to be fighting machines, they are sturdy & strong with a powerful bite force; genetics & training play an important role in how the dog will respond to other dogs or humans. Pitbulls are not inherently aggressive to people; unless taught to be! 

 Some owners (Perhaps the boyfriend) just want a pitbull to use as a power status or for intimidating others; which is just an accident waiting to happen; and it did!  This tragedy could have been avoided had the owner been a responsible one & kept the dog under control; instead of it being allowed to roam freely around the house, whilst they watched TV? The mother must have been aware of the dogs temperamentt; why didn’t she insist the dog be put in a crate or a locked room; whenever the baby was around? No dog should be left unattended with children; especially babies!  The owner would have known, without doubt, what his dog was capable of doing; for that reason, I think they should both be held responsible for this terrible tragedy! R.I.P little one x 

By JAYA NARAIN and ROSIE TAYLOR and JAMES TOZER –PUBLISHED: 07:10, 11 February 2014 | UPDATED: 09:09, 12 February 2014

  • 11-month-old Ava-Jayne Corless attacked by pet late last night
  • Neighbours report seeing ‘vicious and terrifying’ pit bull type dog
  • Victim’s mother and stepfather arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and bailed this morning
  • Baby’s father pays tribute to ‘the most beautiful and adorable little girl’
  • Lancashire Police say dog involved in the attack was a banned breed

A baby girl was mauled to death by a dog that neighbours had allegedly warned was dangerous.

Ava-Jayne Corless, who was just 11 months old, suffered horrific injuries when the American pitbull terrier attacked her while she slept.

Her mother, Chloe King, 20, and  boyfriend Lee Wright, 26, heard the commotion and rushed upstairs to rescue her from the jaws of the beast.

Paramedics were called and took Ava-Jayne to hospital where doctors were unable to save her life.

Victim: Ava-Jayne Corless, aged 11 months, has been mauled to death by a pet dog

Miss King and Mr Wright were questioned on suspicion of manslaughter and child neglect, and were today released on bail.

Lancashire Police said: ‘The two people arrested in connection with the death of Ava-Jayne Corless at Blackburn have both been released on bail pending further inquiries.’

Parents: Ava-Jayne pictured with her father Dean and mother Chloe, who are no longer together

A police spokesman said last night that the animal was banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act of 1991.

Senior officers have launched an investigation into reports that neighbours had called Lancashire Constabulary to complain about dangerous animals at the property in Blackburn.

Faisal Shahzad, 35, fled after two dogs broke through his garden fence. ‘I had to run quickly into the house and barricade the door because they were tearing after me,’ said the taxi driver.

‘I’ve got three children and they were all in the house absolutely terrified. The two dogs were scary. I called the police and they said something would be done and my neighbour also called the RSPCA.’ 

Another neighbour, 80-year-old Brian Harrison, said: ‘That dog was a nightmare for neighbours and people were worried about approaching it.

‘It’s an absolute tragedy that should never have happened. ‘Only last year it mauled to death a neighbour’s cat and nothing was done about it.’

Kyle Perry, 19, was chased down the street by the dog. ‘It was a big dog and it used to just bark and bark,’ he said. ‘I have been chased by it down the street. It was terrifying.’

Blackburn MP Jack Straw said: ‘What will it take to convince people not to keep dogs like this – and to get across to all dog-owners, of every breed of dog, that no dog should ever be left unsupervised with a baby?’

The incident happened at around 11pm on Monday while Miss King was visiting Mr Wright at his home 40 yards from hers.

The pair are understood to have put the baby to sleep in a bedroom and were watching television downstairs when they heard the attack begin. By the time they reached Ava-Jayne she had suffered catastrophic injuries. The dog was destroyed.

Chief Superintendent Chris Bithell said previous contact with neighbours would form part of the police investigation.

Last night,  police said the dog had been identified by experts as a pitbull. 
Owners cannot be prosecuted for dog attacks on private property until new legislation comes into force this spring.

Arrest: The victim’s stepfather Lee Wright is being questioned by police on suspicion of manslaughter

Tougher sentences will be introduced under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill.

Rachel Cunningham, of the Blue Cross animal charity, said: ‘We can only hope the Government’s planned changes to the bill will allow authorities to step in at the first sign of a dangerous dog and help prevent terrible events like this.’

Jennie Rudd, of animal welfare campaign group Naturewatch Foundation, said dog attacks were caused by irresponsible owners.

Danger: The dog was described as a ‘menace’ before the attack and previously killed a neighbour’s cat

She added: ‘If it has aggressive tendencies it is the owner’s responsibility to make sure it never gets near a child, and that it isn’t forced into situations where it feels it has to attack – because there is always a reason for a dog to bite.’

Last night Ava-Jayne’s father, Dean Corless, 24, said he was devastated by the tragedy: ‘I rushed to the hospital to see her straight away.

‘She was the most beautiful and adorable little girl, she was just the best. She was my  whole world. Her mum and I aren’t together any more, but I saw Ava-Jayne all the time. I will miss her every single day, I just don’t know what to do now.

‘It is just so tragic. I have my family around me now, but we are all devastated.’ The RSPCA confirmed the charity had been contacted after a dog at the address killed a neighbour’s cat. The death was treated as an accident with no action taken.

News Link:-http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2556514/Baby-girl-dies-attacked-mauled-dog.html

GRAPHIC VIDEO: Why Arguments For Killing Of Giraffe Marius Don’t Stand Up To Scrutiny

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“WTF…they didn’t have to kill  him, Marius was offered various homes & even a business man was willing to pay thousands to save the giraffe! It seems it’s rules for one & rules for another in the EAZA operation! If they can’t or don’t want an animal that doesn’t fit their requirements, they should have a system in place whereby the un-wanted animal can always be offered an alternative home; if they can’t manage that…then perhaps they shouldn’t be breeding animals at all!!

Thanks to my dear friend on twitter.com/9marbar9 for heads up on these. Please sign:

  1. http://www.thepetitionsite.com/666/714/094/boycott-zoosrevenge-for-marius/
  2. http://www.thepetitionsite.com/142/274/832/they-killed-marius/#next_action

Editor’s note: Liz Tyson is Director of UK charity, The Captive Animals’ Protection Society (CAPS). She previously lived and worked in the Colombian Amazon on conservation projects. She is a board member of conservation charity Neotropical Primate Conservation and a doctoral researcher at the University of Essex, School of Law. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely hers.

Liz Tyson

(CNN) — The killing of a young giraffe named Marius at Copenhagen Zoo sparked international outrage this weekend. On Sunday, he was shot with a bolt gun then publicly dissected before being fed to the lions.

In its defence, the zoo has argued that Marius’ death was necessary to protect the genetic diversity of his species. It was claimed that to allow Marius to take up space that could be used to house another animal with more desirable genetic make-up may hinder conservation breeding programs.

Contraception which required sedation is dangerous and giraffes might die during the procedure. As such, Marius’ birth could not have been safely prevented. Marius could not be re-homed because sending him somewhere other than a zoo which was a member of the European Association for Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) could result in him being sold into a circus, which would be against EAZA rules. In effect, the zoo’s hands were tied, it was implied.

None of these arguments appear to stand up to scrutiny.

As the head of the European endangered species program for giraffes stated in press, Marius was not from a rare sub-species.

Given that zoos claim that animals are kept in order to support the conservation of threatened species, it is therefore unclear why any member of Marius’ subspecies should be held captive at all.

Zoo staff get death threats

It was further confirmed that a contraceptive for giraffes has been developed in the last few years which allows females to be safely injected at a distance thus suggesting that Marius’ birth was not inevitable.

The director of EAZA supported the stance that Marius had to die and encouraged people to consider the “bigger picture.” But EAZA itself is less than consistent in its approach to inbreeding and, indeed, in its concern for the ultimate fate of animals in its member zoos.

EAZA and similar zoo bodies discourage member zoos from deliberately breeding white lions; a practice which is recognized as involving inbreeding in order to perpetuate the unusual white colouring of the animals involved.

Due to the serious welfare implications and the lack of conservation value of inbred animals, breeding of white lions is theoretically not allowed in EAZA zoos. In practice, both West Midland Safari Park and Paradise Wildlife Park in the UK breed white lions.

Both are EAZA members and yet, despite vociferously supporting the killing of Marius to prevent the same problem, a blind eye has been turned by EAZA to the persistent inbreeding of other species in its zoos. White lions are, perhaps tellingly, a great crowd pleaser.

In 2012 West Midland Safari Park were revealed to have sent four white lions to a circus trainer, who sent them on to a Japanese circus. That the safari park remains an EAZA member means that the rules on sending animals to non-EAZA collections are not consistently applied. Despite this, no exception was made for Marius.

In fact, rather than Marius being a tragic exception, the killing of animals considered to be surplus to requirements by zoos is something which is common in the industry. A 2003 study suggested that there are around 7,500 animals deemed “surplus” in European zoos at any one time.

Whilst it cannot be undone, Marius’ death has served an important purpose in shining a spotlight on a practice which is normally kept well-hidden from public view. As long as there are zoos, there will be unwanted animals. And as long as there are unwanted animals, more like Marius will be killed.

It has long been recognised that conservation success is achieved not in city centre zoos or safari parks, but in natural habitats. We would urge anyone with a passion for conservation to support effective in situ efforts which are truly making a positive impact on species conservation.

Viewer Discrestion Advised – Danish Zoo criticized for killing giraffe

Published on 10 Feb 2014

CNN’s Fred Pleitgen on why thousands are angry after a zoo in Copenhagen culled a healthy giraffe.

READ: Why Copenhagen zoo was right to cull giraffe

READ: Danish zoo kills healthy giraffe, feeds body to lions

READ: Marius the giraffe: Copenhagen zoo staff get death threats

News Link:http://edition.cnn.com/2014/02/10/opinion/giraffe-culling-against/

GRAPHIC IMAGE: Danish zookeepers kill healthy baby giraffe with a bolt gun because he was ‘surplus to requirements’ – then feed him to the LIONS

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WTF…this young giraffe didn’t have to die, this is so fxxxxd up! Marius was offered numerous homes along with a guy willing to pay thousands of pounds to save the animal. This is more than tragic & has shown us the public, an insight into these so called Conservation breeding programs! If these zoo’s allow these births, then they should be prepared to re-home the animals if they do not fit in the correct genetic make-up!! 

Thanks to my dear friend on twitter.com/9marbar9 for heads up on these. Please sign:

  1. http://www.thepetitionsite.com/666/714/094/boycott-zoosrevenge-for-marius/
  2. http://www.thepetitionsite.com/142/274/832/they-killed-marius/#next_action
  • Marius was shot with a bolt gun at Copenhagen Zoo
  • Spokesman said they were unable to find Marius a home at another zoo
  • Thousands had signed petitions appealing for a change of heart
  • Yorkshire Wildlife Park reportedly put in a last-ditch offer to take Marius in

This is the horrific moment schoolchildren crowded around to watch as the body of a perfectly healthy giraffe was chopped up before being fed to lions.

Despite more than 20,000 people signing an on-line petition to save two-year-old Marius, staff at Copenhagen Zoo yesterday went ahead and shot the animal with a bolt pistol.

Young children stood at arm’s length as his carcass was skinned and dissected before the meat was thrown to the lions.

Perfectly healthy: The giraffe named Marius who was shot dead and autopsied in the presence of visitors to the gardens at Copenhagen Zoo

The Danish zoo said the drastic move was needed to combat inbreeding and insisted the display was educational.

But animal rights campaigners last night condemned the killing of Marius, saying it exposed the cruel reality of welfare even in Europe’s top zoos.

Marius’s plight had triggered worldwide outpourings of protest, including an offer to re-home him in Britain, with many saying they were sickened by a zoo killing a healthy animal.

Copenhagen Zoo said it was told by the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) that Marius was genetically too similar to the other giraffes in its breeding programme. Because captive animals are bred from a limited gene pool, zoos are monitored to prevent inbreeding and ensure the health of future generations.

After announcing plans to have Marius put down, the zoo received offers of a new home – including one from Yorkshire Wildlife Park – as well as a private buyer who offered 500,000 euros (£410,000).

A crown gathers for the public autopsy on Marius’s body

But bosses said the rules of EAZA membership meant animals could not be transferred to institutions that did not follow its rules on breeding programmes.

The zoo’s scientific director, Bengt Holst, said it was the same as parks culling deer to keep the whole population healthy.

He said: ‘Giraffes today breed very well, and when they do you have to choose and make sure the ones you keep are the ones with the best genes. The most important factor must be that the animals are healthy physically and behaviourally and that they have a good life while they are living, whether this life is long or short.’

Marius (centre) was shot with a bolt gun and will be chopped up for the other animals’ dinner.

Mr Holst said the zoo didn’t give its eight giraffes contraceptives due to ‘unwanted side effects on the internal organs’ and in order to allow animals to display natural parenting behaviour. According to Danish media, Copenhagen Zoo destroys 20-30 animals a year, including bears, tigers and zebras.

Mr Holst told the BBC spaces at institutions such as Yorkshire Wildlife Park should be reserved for ‘genetically more important’ giraffes and that the campaign to save Marius had gone ‘much too far’.

To supporters’ horror, the zoo yesterday announced Marius had been killed with a bolt gun instead of a lethal injection, which would have contaminated the flesh.

His carcass was then skinned and chopped up while visitors crowded around and the meat was fed to the lion population.

A lion feasts on the remains of Marius at Copenhagen Zoo after the mammal was put down earlier in the day

A spokesman said parents were allowed to decide whether their children should watch what the zoo regarded as an important display of scientific knowledge about animals, adding that it would have been ‘foolish’ to let the meat go to waste. Doncaster-based Yorkshire Wildlife Park, whose Danish head of ‘hoofstock’ offered to re-home Marius, said it was ‘saddened’ by the news.

‘We have a state-of-the-art giraffe house built in 2012 with a bachelor herd of four male giraffes and the capacity to take an extra male, subject to the agreement of the European studbook keeper,’ it said.

However the park said it received no response by the time it learnt that Marius had been destroyed.

Stine Jensen, of Denmark’s Organisation Against the Suffering of Animals, said the killing showed Copenhagen Zoo was not ‘the  ethical institution that it wants to portray itself as being’.

Longleat Safari Park yesterday admitted it put down two lions and four cubs. The Wiltshire park said it had too many lions and they were growing violent. But visitors asked why new homes were not found.

Copenhagen Zoo Kills Giraffe Rare Red “Marius” Giraffe Killed for Science feed to carnivores (Not Graphic)

 

Published on 9 Feb 2014

Rare Red Giraffe Put Down at Copenhagen Zoo Marius Giraffe Killed for Science. Efforts to win a last minute reprieve for a young giraffe called Marius at Copenhagen Zoo have failed and the zoo has put the animal down. 
Scientists defended the action saying that giraffes had to be selected to ensure the best genes were passed down to future generations.
Thousands of people had signed an online petition urging the zoo to find the giraffe another home. The carcass will partly be used for research and partly to feed carnivores.Malcolm Brabant reports.

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