Zoo Animals Facing Slaughter...
Thanks to the EU

From all-creatures.org
Animal Rights Articles

Moo-ving people toward compassionate living

Visit our Home Page
Write us with your comments

Zoo Animals Facing Slaughter...
Thanks to the EU

[Ed. Note: Take action: Save Romanian Zoo's Lions from Slaughter]

From Dailymail.co.uk
September 2009

European law requires that the zoos participate in research, promote public education and 'keep animals in a manner that satisfies their biological needs'.

It also requires that local authorities monitor the institutions, license them and design 'preserves in a manner suited to the needs of the species' and have fully trained vets.

These targets are unrealistic for zoos in the poorest areas of the country. They cannot afford to build educational facilities or train up teams of experts to monitor the zoos.

Pacing the perimeter of his small enclosure for hours on end, the bedraggled tiger barely notices the taunts of zoo visitors trying to make him snarl.

Nearby a lion peers out of a dark, dank hut in his pen to catch a brief glimpse of the winter sun that reaches his enclosure for a few short hours every day.

And, in cages measuring 5ft by 14ft, three bears lumber aimlessly in seemingly endless circles around putrid pools of their own excrement.

These are the wretched conditions endured by residents of the Zoological Gardens of Bucharest in Romania.

And the only escape for these animals from their miserable existence - and for hundreds of others in the 35 other zoos scattered across Romania - will be in death.

For, as the people of Romania look forward to a brighter future as the newest citizens of the EU, many of the country's decrepit zoos - which do not come up to EU animal welfare standards - face closure.

This will leave those animals who cannot be moved - and that could be hundreds - facing slaughter.

Indeed, it has already started. When the Timisoara zoo in western Romania closed, the local newspaper reported how birds were cooked and fed to the poor, a lion was poisoned and a bear was shot.

And a rundown zoo in the northern district of Buhusi has just shut, leaving welfare groups desperately seeking a rescue plan for its big cats, bears and dingoes. Some of them are crippled by malnourishment and abuse.

A further five zoos will close in the next few months because of the miserable state of their facilities. Many others are urgently seeking funds to clean up their act and stay in business.

Animal campaigners working in Romania, including the Born Free organization, are desperate to rescue the animals on death row - and they are asking for help from readers of The Mail on Sunday.

"For many of the zoos, euthanasia is the only option,' said Victor Watkins of the World Society for the Protection of Animals.

"The Romanians have not got to grips with the problem that their zoos are not up to standard and that they will have to be closed.

"In some cases it means the management will have to find places in other facilities, maybe outside Romania. In other cases, the animals will be killed."

It is a prospect that horrifies Monica Minciu, president of the Alliance of Protection of Animals in Romania, who has been monitoring the country's zoos in the run-up to EU membership.

She said: "I heard about the killings at the zoo in western Romania and these things do happen. I have to hope that the public outcry at such killings would stop these things happening again but we just don't know."

She revealed: "Animals are killed like this or they are sold on to be hunted when zoos don't want them.

"I believe many zoos will close, but because they will not know what to do with the animals we have to hope that they will stay open in some way to look after them. We need help."

At the crumbling Zoological Gardens of Bucharest, built in 1959, managers fear the worst and are desperate to save their animals. But there is no money to build the new bigger enclosures that will be required by EU law later this year.

Of particular concern have been the bears, a 17-year-old mother, Florentina, her nine-year-old girl cub, Jonni, and 15-year-old male, Vassilica.

The zoo's vet said: "I do not know what the future holds. We wouldn't kill our animals if we closed. That would be murder.

"But, yes, we have had recommendations about the bears. They should obviously be in more space, that is why they are disturbed.

"But to build bigger enclosures for them would be very expensive and even if we had the money we have not got the space."

The director of the zoo, Ancuta Oprea, admitted that she was powerless to alleviate the suffering of the bears in her care. She said: "We can't do anything for the bears. We just try to distract them from the lack of space by giving them things to play with or by changing their food so that they will not think about it."

Plans have been drawn up for closing the Bucharest zoo and replacing it with a 42-hectare 'funpark' where the animals will have the space they need.

But it is a huge challenge. European law requires that the zoos participate in research, promote public education and 'keep animals in a manner that satisfies their biological needs'.

It also requires that local authorities monitor the institutions, license them and design 'preserves in a manner suited to the needs of the species' and have fully trained vets.

These targets are unrealistic for zoos in the poorest areas of the country. They cannot afford to build educational facilities or train up teams of experts to monitor the zoos.

Many can barely buy food for the animals and several local authorities are deciding that the extra costs are too high and will close their zoos.

There is at least hope for the bears, following the intervention of The Mail on Sunday - they are to be resettled in a sanctuary run by the WSPA in the Carpathian mountains.

Elsewhere in the Bucharest zoo there is a deepening sense of foreboding. The eerie silence is broken only by prehistoric groans from the 13 tigers in captivity.

Packs of stray dogs scavenge for bones among the enclosures.

And in the aviary, a starling has been added, simply to give the lone eagle some company.

But that does not stop the great bird regularly flinging itself into the rusty fence that keeps it captive.

Return to Animal Rights Articles

Please Help Our Efforts

We welcome your comments:

Fair Use Notice: This document may contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owners. We believe that this not-for-profit, educational use on the Web constitutes a fair use of the copyrighted material (as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law). If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

All Creatures Animal Rights Article: justice, peace, love, compassion, ethics, organizations, Bible, God, Lord, Jesus, Christ, Holy Spirit, grass roots, animals, cruelty free, lifestyle, hunting, fishing, trapping, farm, farming, factory, fur, meat, slaughter, cattle, beef, pork, chicken, poultry, hens, battery, debeaking.  Thee is also a similarity to the human aspects of prolife, pro life, pro-life, abortion, capital punishment, and war.


| Home Page | Animal Issues | Archive | Art and Photos | Articles | Bible | Books | Church and Religion | Discussions | Health | Humor | Letters | Links | Nature Studies | Poetry and Stories | Quotations | Recipes | What's New? |

Thank you for visiting all-creatures.org.
Since date.gif (1367 bytes)