Animal Defenders International

 

Animal Defenders International

Outpouring of support for law to protect animals in Korea

Posted: 23 June 2015. Updated: 23 June 2015

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Almost 130,000 people are supporting a bill which would ban animal shows and set desperately-needed minimum standards for zoos in South Korea. Petitions from Animal Defenders International (ADI) and Care2 backing the proposed Zoo Act were presented last week to Korea’s Environment and Labor Committee by ADI and Korea Animal Rights Advocates (KARA) on behalf of tens of thousands of citizens in Korea and around the world.

Introduced by Congresswoman Hana Chang, the Zoo Act is backed by over 70 international animal welfare organisations and would see Korea join over 30 countries, including India, Singapore and Taiwan, with prohibitions on circus-style animal performances in place. Congresswoman Chang said that “The Zoo Act….includes minimum space requirements for animals in zoos and addresses keeper and visitor safety” and “must pass to address the ecological needs of animals in Korea.”

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Last year, ADI revealed shocking conditions and violations of Korea’s animal protection law at Monkey School (원숭이학교), an attraction in Gamgyori that forces monkeys to perform in shows. They found dead animals in cages, workers hitting monkeys, squalid and barren living conditions, and traumatised animals in tiny cages. One individual was filmed being brutally trained to walk like a human, with workers looking on and laughing as the terrified and leashed animal is dragged along the ground. A specialist monkey sanctuary viewing ADI’s footage was appalled by the “physical and psychological torture” the animals were subjected to and condemned the “barbaric, unnatural life” they endure.

Having exposed the extreme suffering of animals used for entertainment in Korea
ADI President Jan Creamer commended the efforts of Congresswoman Chang and urged the Government to “pass the Zoo Act without delay so that animals in Korea can be provided with the protection they desperately need.”

The delivery of the petitions was timed to coincide with the Environment and Labor Committee’s evaluation of the popular legislation. Disappointingly, the Zoo Act was not put forward for discussion in the National Assembly at this time and ADI and KARA will continue to press for the legislation to be passed.

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