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October 26, 2011

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Zoo to ax links with pet trade

SHANGHAI Zoo is to persuade a pet company to move out of the zoo grounds because of its sales strategy.

A woman surnamed Zhong, who visited the zoo with her daughter, said she was shocked to see advertisements in the pet area, where more than 50 dog and cat breeds are exhibited, saying "dog sales, prices open to discussion in person."

"Many people were uncomfortable to see the ads," said Zhong. "A zoo is a place for people to get to know the animals, rather than for trading animals."

Director of the unnamed company, a woman surnamed Xie, claimed they had many kinds of dogs bred from the animals displayed in the zoo, and zoo officials "do not manage the dog trade."

She also said that as the zoo does not allow people to take animals in or out of the grounds, the company has to "hide the puppy in a small box" if people want to buy.

The company also offers free vaccines and ensures buyers can use the zoo's staff entrance, thus avoiding the need to buy tickets.

The zoo said animal trading is banned, adding that the pet company's contract was not renewed at the end of last year because residents near the zoo complained about dogs barking.

But the company has not left and has continued to trade. Zoo officials said they will ask the company to move out as soon as possible.

Also yesterday,, a Chinese classified advertising site, was accused of promoting the trade in protected animals. Internet users found the website promoting the sale of protected birds, such as kestrels and golden pheasants. Kestrels are being offered for 600 yuan (US$94).

The Shanghai Wildlife Protection Center said it is in talks with the website, asking it to delete such information.

The center officials, meanwhile, said it is hard for them to clamp down on the online wildlife trade.


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