10/20/14 Advanced Technology in Place of Animal Confinement!

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Animal Friends support the decision for closing Split Zoo on Marjan

- It makes more sense to build an abandoned animals shelter instead of an expensive investment for building a new Zoo

The Animal Friends organization has sent the mayor of Split letters of appreciation to thank his associates and city councillors for their decision on the cessation of work on Marjan's Zoo. This follows their alerting of the public, along with other associations and numerous citizens, to the disgraceful images of the shameful suffering of animals already in the zoo, which, had building continued in these circumstances, threatens the city of Split's welcome reputation.

Along with commending this excellent decision, Animal Friends consider that any suggestion for the building of a new Split Zoo in another location is completely and similarly unacceptable. They also thus maintain there must not be permitted a domestic animals centre or any other similar buildings for the holding and exploitation of animals in Marjan.

Zoos are a reminder of an obsolete and a primitive notion of confinement which does not relate to the 21st century, nor to a city which seeks to base its educated values and tourist identity upon its notably modern and cultural attractions. Regarding the zoo's appearance and limited proportions; all evidence confirms that these confined animals cannot fulfil their natural lives and are thus neglectfully subjected to acute forms of depression, constraining frustration, boredom, lack of environmental stimuli, and repetitive traumatic-pattern behavior.

The organization, in responding to the widely-held and popular consensus of the citizens of Split, supports its inhabitants in their refusing to gawp at animals who are subjected to misery; imprisoned animals, for which the sole intent is usury and profiteering by the very few. The citizens of Split look forward to the continued development of modern, empathic and ethically-enhanced sanctuaries, which are significantly more appealing to the present and future of 21st century culture.

Split's town council has, commendably, closed the zoo. Animal Friends now appeal for this historic moment to herald and prevent any and all consequent animal confinement. Further, any attempt for the building of a new zoo would constitute an inadmissible civic-budgetary expense, whilst conversely, those fundamental legal requirements and existing problems in animal treatment are being ignored. Moreover, according to the Animal Protection Act, the deadline for building an abandoned animals shelter and the provision of an information centre has noticeably passed; Split's council has still not confronted or met that evident legal requirement.

Animal Friends declares that it is in the interest of those animals and all the citizens of Split for this large financial sum, which might be ill-advisedly intentioned for the building of a completely unnecessary new zoo, to be, instead, invested in building an abandoned-animals shelter and information centre for the area of Split-Dalmatia county; for those educational programs for the spaying and neutering of abandoned animals, together with their advertising and housing needs. An abandoned animals shelter would also be visited, used and further developed by schools, kindergartens and tourists, and there would still be sufficient financial resources remaining for other humanitarian and sensitizing projects and for the uplifting cultural development of the city, without expensive unitary investments in the building of a permanent maintenance system for the anti-social animal incarceration of a zoo.

Animal Friends emphasise that millions of kunas are needed for the building and the continuous maintenance of even this type of redundant, antiquated zoo. Spending huge amounts for these out-of-date projects is commercially unjustifiable and ill considered – for the citizens of Split, their children, families and tourists, and most of all for our response towards those captive animals, themselves.

Apart from the fact that zoo maintenance and expenses are consequently high, a zoo's habitat is never a preferred option for an animal, regardless of the amount of money spent on the improvement of living conditions in captivity. Animal Friends therefore, suggest that a "Virtual" educational centre be built with a significantly lower expenditure where animals can be observed by using advanced computer technology in their natural environment; where people can feel to be amongst them with the help of available 3D interactive technology. This, in turn, would provide Split with a unique tourist-attraction and offer visitors an unforgettable and truly educational experience of meeting and interacting with animals, as opposed to a miserable and a backward-looking image of a zoo. In the that way modern technology saves money in the long term and at the same time offers an exciting experience for families, schools and tourists, without the exploitation and torturing of animals.

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