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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 July 2007, 11:38 GMT 12:38 UK
Call to close zoo after attacks
Snowy owl (generic)
A snowy owl ate her chicks following the attack
Animal rights campaigners have called for the closure of Camperdown Wildlife Centre in Dundee following an attack on a number animals.

They said the zoo should not stay open if the safety of exhibits and the public could not be guaranteed.

Enclosures were tampered with and animals killed, injured and traumatised during a break-in last week.

Masked campaigners have given a letter of concern to Dundee City Council, which runs the visitor attraction.

Representatives from Advocates from Animals and Dundee Animal Rights handed over the letter at the local authority's headquarters at Tayside House.

It was addressed to Stewart Murdoch, the director of the leisure, arts and communities department.

Appropriate sanctuaries

In the document, Advocates for Animals' campaigns' director Ross Minett said: "I realise of course that it is not possible to close an animal collection without considerable planning for the safe transfer of animals to appropriate sanctuaries.

"Nonetheless we believe that this move would be in the best interests of the animals and one that many members of the public would support."

The campaigners also questioned whether the council should be using public money to fund the zoo.

They claimed more than 1.5m had been spent on running and upgrading the facility since 2003 and urged the local authority to follow the example set by Fife Council in 2001, and end funding of all animal collections.

Dundee City Council has so far declined to comment on the campaigners' calls.

Security has been increased at Camperdown Wildlife Centre following last week's attack.

A deer was slashed with a craft knife, a terrapin died after it had its eyes poked out, and keepers said a snowy owl was so shaken up, she ate her own chicks.

Police are checking CCTV footage to try and identify the people responsible.




SEE ALSO
CCTV bid to find animal attackers
04 Jul 07 |  Tayside and Central
Danger warning over zoo break-ins
22 May 07 |  Tayside and Central

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