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October 27, 2010

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Animal performance ban gets the fur flying

LOCAL animal lovers applauded a new regulation banning animal performances at zoos and wildlife parks while an industry person said it will hurt business.

The Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development yesterday ordered that all animal performances at zoos and wildlife parks in the country end within three months.

The ministry said the new policy was to guarantee the health and welfare of animals and keep zoos and parks on a nonprofit track.

The ministry said some zoos pursued profit to such an extent that animals were badly harmed.

"It should have been issued earlier," said Wang Ling, a local junior college student. "The animals suffer too much during training."

The International Fund for Animal Welfare has long called on zoos to put an end to the use of animals for entertainment.

But the manager of Shanghai Wildlife Park's marketing department, Shen Jianguo, said the order was unreasonable and that they will lose business if they have to cancel animal performances.

Shen said about 33 percent of the park's visitors watch the animal performances.

"If the performances are canceled, I don't think visitors will have a good time," Shen said.

Meanwhile, the Shanghai Zoo said it only has an elephant show, which it had intended to stop even before the policy was issued.


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