Ricochet News

DA demands the shutdown of East London Zoo amid public outcry

Mar 1, 2019
DA demands the shutdown of East London Zoo amid public outcry

Democratic Alliance (DA) adds voice to groups demanding the closure or upgrading of the East London Zoo.

The outrage of citizens at the conditions of animals at the East London Zoo cannot be ignored, the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Eastern Cape said on Friday.

"The conditions under which animals are kept in this zoo by the Buffalo City Metro are unacceptable and is not conducive to their welfare and natural behaviour," Annette Rademeyer (Cllr), Buffalo City Metro Municipality.

"Social animals are isolated, nocturnal animals have nowhere to sleep or even take shelter during the day and larger animals such as a jaguar and a Cape Vulture are being kept in very small enclosures."

Rademeyer  said that the Democratic Alliance has been seeking answers on these issues since 2013, as evidenced by the questions it has submitted to the Buffalo Metro Council on the 18th of February 2018.

"We recently also did an oversight inspection at the zoo.

"In spite of this, we still have not received any meaningful answers from the BCM Council," she said.

"We have now submitted a further set of questions, as well as a motion (click here) calling for the closing down of the zoo and its re-establishment as a botanical garden. We have recommended that those animals that are healthy be moved to facilities that are capable of housing them."

READ ALSO: Animal rights groups demand East London Zoo be renovated or be shut down

Rademeyer said that the DA has a policy that entails:

  1. The acceptance of non-human animals as sentient beings, which are able to feel the same pain and emotions as humans.
  2. The recognition of basic universal freedoms for non-human animals:
  • Freedom from hunger or thirst;
  • Freedom from discomfort;
  • Freedom from pain, injury or disease;
  • Freedom to express (most) normal behaviour; and
  • Freedom from fear and distress.

"The DA is the only party in South Africa that is fighting for the ethical treatment of animals. We are the only party in Buffalo City that is standing up against the ill-treatment that is occurring at the East London Zoo," she claimed.

"The way we treat our animals reflects on how we treat each other."

Follow more RNEWS articles, subscribe to our YouTube channel and for breaking news LIKE us on Facebook. For news on the Western Cape click here.