AfA: Zoo to save, not enslave- GLOBAL PROP FOR CRY
- Friday, July 01, 2005
IN TODAY'S PAPER
Calcutta > Story
Zoo to save, not enslave
- GLOBAL PROP FOR CRY
The king of the jungle in a cage: The concept of an urban zoo is being
contested. A Telegraph picture
A zoo must act as a rescue-cum-conservation centre and not as an
exhibition gallery... Calcutta-based animal welfare NGO People for
Animals (PFA), which had challenged the concept of an urban zoo in
Calcutta High Court through a public interest litigation (writ
application no. 1950) in 1998, has found global voice to its crusade.
Strategic partner Compassionate Crusaders Trust (CCT) - the PIL was
filed based on its findings and analyses - was the sole city
representative at the biennial animal welfare conference, Asia for
Animals, held at Novotel Clarke Quay, Singapore, from June 22 to 24.
The forum strongly endorsed CCT's focus on the zoo's role as a
conservation centre and lauded its slogan, 'Life imprisonment without
any court of appeal', according to Louis Ng, president and executive
director, Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres),
principal organiser of the conclave.
"Any kind of subjugation of a weaker species leads to apprehension and
eventual loss of freedom," said Debasis Chakrabarti, who did a
presentation on 'Rescue centre operation' at the Singapore forum on
behalf of CCT.
The emphasis of Asia for Animals 2005 was on consolidating experience
in the region, with an eye to developing new strategies and
facilitating change. In the main sessions, representatives of
government agencies and NGOs debated topics like 'disaster relief &
recovery', 'ZooChek work in Asia', 'stray animal management', 'rescue
centre operations', 'tackling illegal wildlife trade'?
Chakrabarti called for a concrete road map for all rescued animals,
both short and long-term, "so that they can fend for themselves once
they are returned to the wild, and the zoos have to play a pivotal
Shubhabrata Ghosh, who had inspected over 30 Indian zoos for CCT
funded by ZooChek Canada, and was the other representative from the
city, underlined the need to stop subjugation in the name of
exhibition/performance in zoos and circuses.
Copyright (c) 2005 The Telegraph.