NO animals that cannot be returned to the wild will be bred at Barcelona zoo.
The city council approved a motion modifying animal protection bylaws with the backing of the BComu, PdeCat and ERC parties despite opposition from Ciudadanos, the PSC socialists and the Partido Popular.
The 2.000 animals belonging to 300 species that currently live in the zoo which opened 127 years ago will be transferred to animal sanctuaries or remain there until they die natural deaths.
Only animals that are at risk of extinction and can safely be returned to the wild will be bred at the zoo.
Those that would not survive, including threatened species, are excluded.
“We cannot have animals destined to live miserably in cages,” declared Alejandra Garcia from the Libera movement.
Animal protection and animal rights’ groups applauded the city council’s move although the zoo’s 150 employees have called a strike, condemning the new measures that mean the disappearance a park “which belongs in the collective memory of generations.”
Javier Almunia, president of AIZA, Spain’s Zoos and Aquariums Association, lamented the new bylaws.
“If we do not reproduce species long term, we shall never know if we could have eventually reintroduced animals that today would not survive,” Almunia argued.