DA in a froth as BCM shrugs off motion on zoo
An animal rights motion criticising the East London zoo vanished from council on Wednesday in a move that angered DA councillor and animal cruelty campaigner Annette Rademeyer.
Rademeyer said this was the second council meeting which had batted aside her and DA councillor Norman Silke’s motion calling for the zoo to be closed.
“The motion and questions were tabled at last month’s council meeting and the minutes record that a report was to have been tabled yesterday [Wednesday], “ she said.
“This was not done. No attempt was made to discuss the motion or provide answers to the questions. I demanded a copy of the report as promised, but the speaker kept dodging the issue.
“The zoo has attracted a huge amount of negative publicity and I have been asking questions about this facility since 2013. The animals that are imprisoned in this facility have to languish under inhumane conditions with no positive changes made to their living conditions and no tangible environmental enrichment provided to them. These animals are not furniture, and decisions which are in their best interests need to be taken now.”
Rademeyer said the DA’s policy was to accept non-human animals as sentient beings, which are able to feel the same pain and emotions as humans and the recognition of basic universal freedoms for non-human animals including:
Freedom from hunger or thirst; freedom from discomfort; freedom from pain, injury or disease; freedom to express normal behaviour; and freedom from fear and distress.
“The DA is the only party in South Africa that is fighting for the ethical treatment of animals. We are the only party in Buffalo City that is standing up against the ill-treatment that is occurring at the East London Zoo.” she said.
BCM spokesperson Samkelo Ngwenya said: “I cannot comment on the matter.”
On Human Rights Day hundreds of animal rights activists gathered outside the zoo to handover a petition signed by 4,000 people calling for it to close.
However, no official from mayor Xolo Pakati’s office arrived to accept the document.
Khoisan activists led by ANC MP Christian Martin, who slept and lived in a cage at Retail Park in Beacon Bay for 11 days, marched to the zoo to join the protest.
They were supported by renowned conservationist and documentary filmmaker John Varty and his rock band Wild Life Warriors.
Rademeyer said her motion had been “deferred” to the next council meeting in May ...