Gorilla with baby at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park (2011) | Photo: Becker1999, license: CC BY 2.0

How PETA is trying to use the coronavirus against zoos

Exclusively for zoos.media – 23.04.2021. Author: Philipp J. Kroiß

This article comments on the ridiculous and unfounded attempt by the radical animal rights organisation PETA to use the coronavirus against zoos and aquariums.

How PETA is trying to use the coronavirus against zoos

The radical animal rights organisation PETA is against all forms of animal husbandry – even those husbandries that are relevant to nature and species conservation according to serious science would be ended if it were up to PETA. That is why the organisation does not miss a chance to spread lies or disinformation to stir up against zoos and aquariums. PETA even makes use of abstruse conspiracy theories to achieve this.

Animal infections

Tiger at Bronx Zoo | Photo: Evanphoto, license: CC BY-SA 3.0

PETA cites a very small number of infections in animals. “Scientists urgently warn about the dangers of a coronavirus infection for great apes. We therefore explicitly appeal to all German zoos to ensure that the risk of infection for caged wild animals is minimised through strict hygiene measures in animal care.” – PETA employee Yvonne Würz was cited.

If PETA truly had sufficient expertise about modern zoos and aquariums, they would know that hygiene measures, adapted to each species and its risk condition, were implemented to prevent diseases long before Covid-19. This has been standard for years and is checked regularly. Serious and scientifically run zoos developed plans to master such situations a long time ago.

A Covid-19 infection is not dangerous for most animals. Specialised veterinarian Prof. Lierz already explained this in an interview with zoos.media at the beginning of the pandemic. However, PETA apparently has no sufficiently qualified veterinarian amongst its staff to know this. Considering this, it is completely nonsensical to invoke infections in animals: they rarely exist and have not been very dangerous for the animals so far either.

Zoos and aquariums can open safely

Real experts know that zoos and aquariums can open safely – many zoological institutions have already proven that they cannot just open the exteriors safely, where the probability of infection is practically 0, but also the interiors. The Oceanogràfic in Valencia, for instance, has proven this very well.

All findings show that closing zoos and aquariums achieves nothing. On the contrary, thanks to tested hygiene concepts, they are safe spaces with the potential to reduce in both adults and children the frustration that builds up from the long months of lockdown. There have been and still are no hotspots in zoological facilities, on the contrary, most of the infections occur in the domestic environment. As far as hygiene concepts are concerned, modern zoos and aquariums have decades of experience on how to keep far more dangerous viruses than the coronavirus in check and on how to protect animals and visitors from them.

That is why the demands of radical zoo opponents from PETA are ridiculous and show once more that the organisation is ideologically blinded but has no real competence in this matter.

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