Animal rights groups urge boycott of Shenzhen zoo

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 24 December, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 24 December, 1997, 12:00am

Animal welfare workers yesterday urged a boycott of a Shenzhen zoo after the South China Morning Post exposed its ill-treatment of animals.

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the International Fund for Animal Welfare urged tourists and travel agents not to visit Shenzhen Xili Safari Park.

The appeal was made after the groups, alerted by a Sunday Morning Post report, visited the park and found animals, including endangered species, being exploited.

The Post toured the park last month and saw bloody horse fights, a parade of bears with their nostrils ripped open by metal rings and monkeys forced to dance on tightropes.

Some of the animals came from the old Lai Chi Kok zoo.

The groups said that the park's bosses had refused to meet them.

A safari park spokesman denied it had abused animals and that horse fighting had been stopped.

'The appeal for a boycott is too radical. Animals will be the final victims if fewer visitors come to our park,' he said.