Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Outpouring of support for law to protect animals in Korea

Posted: 19 June 2015

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 backing the proposed Zoo Act have been presented to Korea’s Environment and Labor Committee by Animal Defenders International (ADI) and Korea Animal Rights Advocates (KARA) on behalf of tens of thousands of citizens in Korea and around the world.

Congresswoman Hana Chang who presented the Zoo Act legislation said, “The Zoo Act is supported by people from all over the world. It includes minimum space requirements for animals in zoos and addresses keeper and visitor safety. The Zoo Act must pass to address the ecological needs of animals in Korea, as other countries are doing.”

The Zoo Act would prohibit circus-style animal performances and join Korea with over 30 countries with similar measures, including India, Singapore and Taiwan. The Zoo Act has secured strong support within Korea in addition to the outpouring of international support via petitions from ADI and Care2. Over 70 respected international animal welfare organisations have backed the legislation proposed by Congresswoman Chang including ADI and KARA.

KARA Director Soonrye Yim said, “Congresswoman Chang’s legislation is of international concern. The Zoo Act is championed by leading animal protection organisation Animal Defenders International and has the support of over 100,000 people around the world.”

Last year, Animal Defenders International 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.

ADI President Jan Creamer urged the Government to pass the Zoo Act, saying “Having exposed the extreme suffering of animals used for entertainment in Korea, we commend the efforts of Congresswoman Chang to bring about meaningful change. We call on 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. ADI and KARA will continue to press for the legislation to be passed.

ADI has assisted several countries with the enforcement of their animal protection laws. In Bolivia, the organisation rescued each and every animal from circuses across the country. The incredible story is told in the award-winning and critically acclaimed film LION ARK which is due to be aired in Korea in the coming months. ADI is now working on ‘Operation Spirit of Freedom’ with Peru’s authorities to enforce its circus ban and has rescued almost 80 wild animals who are being relocated to sanctuaries.

Animal Defenders International
Fleur Dawes +44 (0) 207 630 3344 / +44 (0) 778 555 2548

Korea Animal Rights Advocates
(+82) 010 6205 3482 / (+82) 02 3482 0999

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