Please LEVY a MAXIMUM FINE against the Cincinnati Zoo for their blatant disregard of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) when their negligence allowed a child to gain access to a gorilla enclosure, and this led directly to the death of a 17 year old gorilla, Harambe. This behavior must NOT be tolerated and MUST be punished with the maximum penalty allowed under the Animal Welfare Act.
Zoo watchdog group files complaint in
By Patrick Brennan, Cincinnati.com, May 31, 2016
Stop Animal Exploitation Now (SAEN), a Cincinnati-based animal rights and zoo watchdog group, has filed a complaint against the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden in the wake of the shooting death of a 17-year-old gorilla Saturday after a child fell into the animal's exhibit.
With the Cincinnati Zoo serving as a backdrop to a Tuesday press conference, Michael A. Budkie, executive director of SAEN, said his organization filed the complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
"What happened this last weekend made it very clear that the physical barriers at the Cincinnati Zoo are not adequate to keep people out of the enclosures, obviously," said Budkie. "A 3 or 4-year-old child was able to enter the enclosure. This is not a situation where this enclosure was constructed adequately... It's hard to believe standards for constructing animal enclosures and for providing physical barriers to keep the public out of enclosures haven't changed in three decades.
"It is clear that the Cincinnati Zoo, by not having sufficient enclosures which allowed this child to enter the gorilla enclosure, has violated the Animal Welfare Act."
In its complaint, SAEN said the Cincinnati Zoo violated federal regulations pertaining to perimeter fencing and barriers for zoo-animal enclosures.
The Animal Welfare Act regulates treatment of animals in research, exhibition transport and by dealers, according to the USDA website.
At 17, Harambe was killed well short of his 40-to-50 year life expectancy, prompting social media backlash toward numerous parties.
Zoo director Thane Maynard said Monday that the USDA would investigate the incident.
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