PAN wants to convert zoos and dolphinariums into centers for the conservation and recovery of wild animals

«We need to rethink the role of zoos and look for more ethical and effective alternatives for the conservation and recovery of endangered species»

The People-Animals-Natureza (PAN) party today presented two initiatives to the Assembly of the Republic, in which it proposes the conversion of zoological parks and dolphinariums into conservation, recovery and observation centers, without a recreational component, for wild animals housed in them.

The PAN also proposes the creation of natural sanctuaries that allow proximity to the natural habitat of animals housed in zoos and dolphinariums.

«We need to rethink the role of zoos and look for more ethical and effective alternatives for the conservation and recovery of endangered species. We must privilege the conservation and recovery of species over entertainment. This is essential for the future of conservation and education about the needs of animals in terms of well-being, as well as their conservation», maintains Inês de Sousa Real, spokesperson and member of the PAN.

In this sense, the PAN intends to establish «a regime for the reconversion of zoological parks, promoting digital reconversion that promotes awareness and the creation of conservation and species recovery centers, in a natural environment, for the animals previously housed in these spaces».

«The confinement to which they are subjected, whether in dolphinariums or in zoos, will never be able to reproduce their natural habitat and for them to manifest their natural behaviors, as they would do in nature and even in a group. We are denying wild animals a right that should be recognized as fundamental: that of living in freedom, alongside members of their own species», concludes the PAN spokesperson.

To this end, the PAN initiative provides for a «three-year moratorium» to allow the gradual transition of zoological parks to awareness-raising and conservation centers and to create the necessary sanctuaries or even «for it to be registered, if so prove more beneficial for the species in question, trying to make the conditions resemble, as much as possible, their natural habitat».

During this period, zoos will be encouraged to implement digital reconversion measures, using interactive technologies to provide visitors with educational and informative experiences, without the need to keep animals in captivity.

In addition, it is also planned to reinforce existing wild animal collection centers, which must be provided with resources and qualified personnel to provide veterinary care, promote the rehabilitation and reintroduction of animals into nature whenever possible.

«We must be inspired by the example of the ZOO XXI project in Spain, internationally recognized as a model for converting zoological parks into conservation centres, or projects for the creation of natural sanctuaries for cetaceans in Nova Scotia or Indonesia, and implement a similar regime in Portugal», defends Inês de Sousa Real.