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To: Thérèse Coffey Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs of the United Kingdom
Make the culling of healthy animals in captivity illegal
In the UK, healthy animals are legally being killed.
Captive animals are being ‘culled’ in Zoos and various other sanctuaries purely for superficial reasons such as saving space, money, and even for a twisted form of ‘enrichment’.
This is a betrayal of the trust of the animals in the care of these organisations. Imagine the investigations that would take place if humans who needed the care of others were being killed despite being perfectly healthy, or not representing the ‘right’ kind of genes, in care homes or schools? Places designed to nurture and protect these animals are unfortunately often doing the opposite.
Too many healthy animals are being ‘culled’ for not good enough reasons. The reasons given for wild culls are in no way applicable to captive animals. For example if there are too many of a certain animal, why have them in captivity to begin with? Why let them breed only to kill their inevitable children? Only ill animals should be put to sleep when there is absolutely nothing left to be done and it is in their best interest. Laws should be stricter to prevent culling in captivity. Please help make this senseless practice as illegal as it is wrong. Thank you.
Why is this important?
Marius, the baby giraffe killed in Copenhagen then later dissected in front of visitors; A three month old baby bear in Sweden, killed because he was being bullied by his father, later stuffed to show the public; Nine lion cubs in Sweden, killed for being “surplus”; Sammi and Becca, two piglets in Edinburgh zoo, killed by the zoos vet to, ironically, adhere to the european breeding project in which “surplus” animals are to be put to death; A zebra in Norway, killed and given to a lion in front of visitors; seven healthy lion cubs killed in the notorious south lakes zoo just for being born; even as recent as April of 2023 in Dundee, Scotland, where four wolves were killed just because they displayed anxiety after their leader was euthanised following an operation. The list is horrifically long, too long to include here.
The figure given by zoos in Europe for the number of “surplus” animals killed is 7,500, though the actual number is likely far greater.
This is unfortunately taking place on a far too regular basis. Contemporary zoos and other animal organisations perpetuate their narrative of being for the safety and conservation of animals. In what way does culling animals that are healthy achieve this?
Throughout the world, wild groups of animals are culled, the reason given being for the benefit of the group by removing ill or elderly members or condensing the group to prevent food shortages. This reason is also given for culled animals in captivity, however this issue is supposed to be impossible in zoos, and often one of the reasons that they are in captivity to begin with. If there are too many of an animal then they shouldn’t be in captivity as they’re not in need of conservation. There are a huge number of endangered or vulnerable animals that could be in conservation areas instead.
Along with banning this hideous aspect of captivity, statistics for animal deaths should be published to prove they were necessary. While we unfortunately aren’t capable of changing the laws of these other countries just yet, we can demand justice for zoo animals in the United Kingdom, and urge the government to protect them from these disgusting, senseless deaths.
After all, if you and your families lives were in the hands of others, wouldn’t you want them to be safe and free from an environment where whether they live or die is essentially a game of Russian roulette?