A young antelope and two buffalos have been euthanized last month at the Animal Park Planckendael.
The Animal Park Planckendael has declared that it felt impelled to euthanize the surplus animals which cannot be sheltered due to shortage of space. Two buffalos and a young horned antelope have been euthanized and fed to other animals of the zoo. The issue with male animals of this species is that they cannot live with other males in one compound.
The Royal Society of Zoology of Antwerp (KMDA), owner of the Animal Park Planckendael announced that euthanasia is the last resort and that there is increasing effort to return redundant animals to resorts in African countries.
This is particularly criticized by animal rights activists as scimitar-horned antelope is an endangered species that is scarcely living in the wild anymore.
A similar case occurred last year, when the Copenhagen zoo euthanized Marius, a healthy giraffe and fed it to lions. The Copenhagen zoo had, for that procedure, brought out arguments similar to the ones maintained by the Animal Park Planckendael.
A high emotion has been raised this weekend in a Zoo in Denmark, after the slaughter of "Marius", a 18-month young giraffe. Despite a petition asking to save the giraffe, the Zoo decided to slaughter it. Then, the giraffe get an authopsy in front of visitors, and the remains of the animals have been given to the Lions.
The giraffe has been killed because Zoos want to prevent "in breeding" and want to increase genetical diversity. Consequently, the animals borned in the Zoo are regularly killed if no other zoo can adopt them. This is the fate of lots of unwanted animals in Zoos. The EU Zoo Directive is not prohibiting the killing of unwanted healthy animals and also insists on the importance to increase genetic diversity. Moreover, the protection of endangered species laid down by the CITES is not applying to animals borned in captivity.
The scandal here is bigger because there has been a high mobilisation in all the country to try to save the giraffe, including an offer of 500,000€. DEspite this, the Zoo decided to kill the animal.
This scandal is raising once more the issue about the "right to live" and "right to kill". Killing healthy animals cannot be called euthanasia, as it does not aim to end the suffering of an uncureable animal.
More information on http://www.theguardian.com/world/gallery/2014/feb/09/the-death-of-marius-the-giraffe-pictures-from-copenhagen-zoo
Please also consult the position paper of VIER PFOTEN / FOUR PAWS on the definition of euthanasia here: VP Position o Euthanasia and killing.
19 September 2012
Auke Zijlstra (NI)
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