October 15, 2015
HSI Statement on Danish Zoo’s Public Dissection of a Lion
The following is a statement from Joanna Swabe, Ph.D., executive director of Humane Society International/Europe, responding to a planned public dissection of a lion cub at the Odense Zoo in Denmark:
“The Odense Zoo’s public dissection of a one-year-old lion cub has sparked global outrage. An additional scandal is that some European zoos over-breed and kill lions and thousands of other animals deemed surplus to requirements.
“Regardless of your view on zoos per se, it is both unethical and irresponsible to allow animals to reproduce in the full knowledge that they are genetically superfluous to a conservation programme, and will be killed if no place can be found for them in at another zoo.
“Zoos have an ethical responsibility to make prudent decisions about how they manage population control which doesn’t rely on animals being routinely killed as disposable assets.
“A wide range of contraceptive options are available to zoos that enable them to manage reproduction, prevent inbreeding, maintain genetically healthy populations as well as allow animals to live in family groups. This particular young female lion at Odense Zoo was in many ways condemned to die the moment she was born, a birth that should never have been allowed to happen in the first place.”
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