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Animal rights

• I refer to Mark Keenan's article of May 30, 2012.

As part of the animal-rights community I was shocked to read that Dublin Zoo now has the approval of rights groups.

Such a statement is totally contradictory and flawed from an animal-rights standpoint. We believe that holding any animal captive for human entertainment is unethical and cannot be justified. Keeping animals in zoos sends a damaging message to the general public, and particularly to children, by the implication that animals can be maintained in captivity to satisfy our own curiosity, despite the animal gaining no benefit from the practice.

Animal-rights groups maintain that zoos cannot meet animals' natural physical, social, behavioural and emotional needs and thus the welfare of zoo animals is severely compromised. We do not endorse any zoos from an animal-rights perspective.

From a welfarist's perspective, if a bigger enclosure may allow an animal 'a bigger jail cell' it possibly could be classed as 'an improvement', but that's not relevant to animal-rights proponents who are trying to end animals being kept in captivity to amuse humans.

We oppose any infringement by zoos on the rights of the individual animals to live free lives.

Bernie Wright
Alliance for Animal Rights
Po Box 4734, Dublin 1

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