Community Saves Goats Condemned By Zoo
by Nicole Allard
Many small children love the goats at the
Minnesota Zoo. They feed them, pet them, and they know their
names. So, when the zoo announced it was planning to sell
the goats for slaughter, the community was called to action.
The zoo, which opened in 2000, has sold animals
for slaughter before. Last summer, after budget cuts, staff
layoffs and even a winter closing to save money, eleven sheep
and one goat were sent to auction.
This time, when reports of the latest proposed
slaughter hit the news, fifty people signed up to buy goats
Even though many of them dropped off the list,
enough people came forward at the final hour willing to pay
the $100 that the zoo needs for each animal.
The zoo's conservation manager, Tony Fisher,
told a Pioneer Press reporter that he no longer expects to
send any goats or sheep to auction.
The Minnesota Zoo encountered a huge reaction
to their plan to sell their goats for slaughter, including
a letter of protest from People for the Ethical Treatment
of Animals (PETA).
"Zoos should be safe havens for animals,
not pitstops on the way to the slaughterhouse," Lisa Wathane,
PETA's captive exotic animal specialist, wrote in the letter.
Wathane stated that the killings would be
"not only unethical", but also "in direct violation of the
American Zoo and Aquarium Association's disposition policy,
which is intended to ensure that the welfare of individual
animals is carefully considered during placement, and that
animals from AZA-member institutions are not transferred to
individuals or organizations that lack the appropriate expertise
or facilities to care for them."
According to the Vegan Society, around 4%
of goats are killed by ritual slaughter, which means that
the goats are fully conscious when their throats are cut.
Female goats who provide milk are usually
slaughtered at six to eight years of age, although their natural
life expectancy should be around fifteen years. Male goats,
if not used for meat, are slaughtered at birth with an overdose
of carbon dioxide, chloroform or barbiturates.
© 2003 Animal News Center, Inc.