World

Korean zoo under fire for selling animals to butchery

A zoo in South Korea has been criticised after it sold off a number of its animals to a slaughterhouse in an open auction.

The Seoul Zoo in Seoul Grand Park in Gwacheon opted in August to sell off 43 animals – 19 black goat kids and 24 deer including six fallow deer, two sambar deer and four reindeer – to animal farms in a bid to reduce their overcrowded enclosures, according to animal activist group, the Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth (Care).

However, the group alleges that the animals ended up being sold to butcheries instead.

Protest in Seoul

The incident prompted local and foreign animal activists to descend upon Seoul City Hall on Aug 20 to protest against the sale of zoo animals for slaughter.

The Korea Times reported an official from the zoo saying that the sale was "necessary" due to the overcrowding of its deer and goat enclosures.

He also insisted that the sale was a legitimate open bidding process and that the zoo had no idea that the buyer had come from a slaughterhouse.

Zoo U-turn

After initially resisting calls to re-purchase the animals, the zoo has since performed a U-turn.

However, it has asked for time to implement measures to solve its problems before buying back the animals.

In the meantime, activist groups like Care are racing against time to raise funds to buy the animals-turned-livestock before they end up on someone's plate.

Ms Park So Yeon, who heads Care, said: "Six young black goats have already been slaughtered, but the zoo is still negligent about the lives of the other animals.

"Re-buying them will cost tens of millions of won, twice the price at which the zoo had sold the animals. But we still have to do this if the zoo doesn't re-buy them."

Source: The Korea Times

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