Barcelona's town council modified the zoo's bylaws to include a rule by which any of its breeding programs will be stopped unless there is a plan to eventually release the offspring into nature.
RENATA BRITO: ‘Animal rights activists in Barcelona are celebrating a victory after the Spanish city ordered its municipal zoo to restrict the reproduction of captive animals unless their young are destined to be reintroduced into the wild. Barcelona’s town council voted on May 3 to modify the zoo’s bylaws to include a rule by which any of its breeding programs will be stopped unless there is a plan to eventually release the offspring into nature. “We want zoos to stop breeding animals that do not respond to an environmental strategy, breeding them just so they can be in front or inside a cage,” said activist Leonardo Anselmi, who coordinates ZOO XXI, the animal rights group that successfully pushed for the new mandate.
The mandate was passed along with a new strategic plan for the zoo crafted by its staff that will task a committee of scientists and ethical experts with one year to determine a conservation plan for each of the 300 different species housed at the zoo. Those resulting plans will have to be implemented within three years. Any animals the committee thinks should leave the zoo will, in theory, be reintroduced into the wild or relocated at other zoos or sanctuaries.
The bylaw says it is adopting a stance of “compassionate conservation” that sees “animals are beings deserving our respect.” The goal is to convert the zoo, which was built inside a park in the city center in 1892, into a center focused on education and research, and a refuge for animals that can no longer survive in liberty. Currently the zoo hosts several animals in this condition, including elephants, tortoises and Pedro, a 45-year-old rhinoceros who eats baguettes for breakfast’. SOURCE…