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Petitioning Executive Director, EAZA Dr. Lesley Dickie and 1 other

Tell the European Zoo Association to Stop Killing Healthy Animals

When a pair of five-month-old rare red river hogs, Sammi and Becca, were born at the Edinburgh Zoo, the zoo boasted, "We hope that this is the first of many contributions our Red River Hogs make to the breeding programme." Apparently the breeding program wasn't quite as excited because the piglets were soon deemed "surplus."

The zoo was advised by the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums European Endangered Species Programme to cull the piglets rather than find them a new home.

The European Endangered Species Programme claims the culling is necessary to maintain genetic diversity (so there aren't too many animals from one family in the captive gene pool), but if that's the case, and if the animals aren't candidates for release, then why breed the animals in the first place? To have a surplus of an endangered species should be an impossible oxymoron.

Contrary to the claim that zoos are a valuable resource for education and conservation efforts, it seems like all we're learning from a breeding program that results in culling is that birth announcements sell tickets.

The animal protection group, OneKind, has organized a campaign to help save the lives of the other three red river hog piglets who were born last month at the zoo. "OneKind believes it is wrong for these healthy, harmless animals to be killed ... If the zoo was unable to care for these animals, they should have been offered wildlife sanctuary or an alternative home found for them."

The conservation claims made by zoos are tenuous, at best, to start with -- except for a few successful species recovery programs (like the red wolf and Mexican gray wolf in the U.S.), most animals in captivity never see the world outside their enclosures. But zoos cannot claim to protect species when, in a controlled environment, they continue to kill healthy animals. 

Tell the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums to take immediate action to stop these unnecessary culls and to give "surplus" animals a chance at life in a sanctuary instead of the death sentence.

Photo credit: Matt Dewar

This petition was delivered to:
  • Executive Director, EAZA
    Dr. Lesley Dickie
  • Population Management, EAZA
    Dr. Kristin Leus

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