Friday, February 03, 2006

U.S. Zoos Violating Federal Law in Housing of Elephants: Federal Legal Petition Seeks Enforcement Action/Confiscation of Ailing Elephants

U.S. Zoos Violating Federal Law in Housing of Elephants, Group Charges
Federal Legal Petition Seeks Enforcement Action/ Confiscation of Ailing Elephants

As I’ve said before you can’t argue with pictures. If you follow the link to this article you will see undeniable proof of “…inadequate space that restricts movement and forces elephants to stand for years on concrete and other unyielding flooring, often in their own waste."

You’ll actually see one picture of the Elephant Toni who was recently killed by the National Zoo in Washington, DC.

As I wrote about recently -

http://geari.blogspot.com/2006/01/

shame-on- national-zoo-in-washington

-dc.html,

I believe this was a political kill, in that they knew proof was to come out about her treatment. Well, now this is the case with these pictures and this legal petition. There was probably much more that they didn’t want anyone to see. Signs of abuse were likely evident. Instead of facing it, they killed her.

The point to remember here is that zoos are causing this physical damage. It is unnatural confinement in zoos, circuses, etc. that is leading to physical ailments.

Read on….

U.S. Zoos Violating Federal Law in Housing of Elephants, Group Charges

Federal Legal Petition Seeks Enforcement Action/ Confiscation of Ailing Elephants

http://www.idausa.org/news/currentnews/zoo_petition.html

Washington, D.C. - U.S. zoos are violating the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) by holding elephants in tiny, unnatural enclosures that cause painful arthritis and chronic foot infections, charges a legal petition filed today by In Defense of Animals (IDA) with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). An estimated half of all captive elephants suffer from arthritis and foot disease, and the ailments are the leading cause of euthanasia in captive elephants.

The petition seeks to compel the USDA to enforce an AWA provision requiring zoos and circuses to provide conditions consistent with elephants' health and well-being. The petition also asks USDA to confiscate elephants who are suffering with extreme cases of zoo-induced ailments. It is supported by Dr. Joyce Poole of the Amboseli Elephant Research Group and Dr. Daphne Sheldrick of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust -- two of the world's leading authorities on elephants; Dr. Michael Schmidt, former head research veterinarian at the Oregon Zoo; Les Schobert, a former zoo general curator and other former zoo veterinarians and professionals.

"Elephants in zoos are suffering painfully from arthritis and foot disease, a direct result of inadequate space that restricts movement and forces elephants to stand for years on concrete and other unyielding flooring, often in their own waste," says Elliot Katz, DVM, founder of IDA, which is filing the petition. "These conditions are killing elephants decades before their natural time."

"This petition seeks USDA action to force zoos to comply with the Animal Welfare Act, either by providing environments-hundreds of acres-that meet elephants' needs or by transferring them to sanctuaries with the space and natural habitat necessary for elephants to thrive," Katz continued.

American Zoo and Aquarium Association standards require only 1800 square feet (.04 acres) of outdoor space per elephant, about the size of six parking spaces. By contrast, African elephants have home ranges of 120 square miles and walk 5-12 miles a day or more. Asian elephants have home ranges of up to 200 square miles and daily movements ranging from 5-14 miles. (There are 640 acres in a square mile.)

The petition asks the USDA to inspect several zoos where elephants are currently suffering from arthritis and foot disease, including National Zoo in Washington, D.C.; Lee Richardson Zoo in Garden City, Kan.; Cameron Park Zoo in Waco, Texas; Reid Park Zoo in Tucson, Ariz.; Los Angeles Zoo; and, Abilene Zoo in Texas. The zoos were included based on medical records; IDA said more zoos would be added as medical records, obtained under state open records laws, are evaluated.

The petition was filed on IDA's behalf by Kimbrell and Mendelson, a Washington, D.C. law firm. It can be viewed here –

http://www.idausa.org/news/currentnews/zoo_petition.html

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