The Instigator
newc_25
Pro (for)
Winning
11 Points
The Contender
mr.cots
Con (against)
Losing
7 Points

Zoos are not out-dated and are necessary for animal conservation

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/5/2009 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 5,652 times Debate No: 7695
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (9)
Votes (3)

 

newc_25

Pro

Animal conservation has become a hot topic more recently between scientists, the media and the public. There are huge debates about whether animal conservation is necessary and the advantages and disadvantages of in situ and ex situ conservation. A main concern is ex situ conservation (i.e. zoological parks).

Many people see zoos as out-dated and cruel. Exotic wild animals are kept in man-made enclosures under unnatural environmental and social conditions and surplus animals are usually euthanised. This is true, but who can argue that zoos do not play a leading role in animal conservation? The zoo has four main aims:
1. to educate the public;
2. to discover new findings through scientific research;
3. to provide a fun family day out, and;
4. to conserve wild species.

As you can see, three of these (education, research and conservation) are all academic and aim to protect species. Providing entertainment for the family is not exactly in the animals best interests, but the funding is necessary to enable research and conservation.

Zoos provide valuable information to the public about animal conservation, either through a fun family day out, school visits or through the media, such as the internet and T.V shows.

Admittedly, not all countries have 'good' welfare standards for their animals; however, the UK does and this is the country I am primarily looking at for the debate.

If zoos did not exist, the West African Black Rhino (Diceros bicornis longipes) would be completely extinct. This is the same for may other animals sepcies.

Looking forward to hearing from you.
mr.cots

Con

Okay hello!!
I'm Just going to jump right in to it, and I'll start by asking a few questions.
1.What scientific research is done at a zoo?
2.What species have been protected/saved through a zoo?
3.What is the point of a animal conservation center, if we have zoos?
4. Does the Government spend any money on this?

To start off, a zoo's job is NOT to conserve wild species, as stated by the opposition, it is to
"to educate the public", and "to provide a fun family day out"
And that is ALL it is for, now I ask, what scientific research is done at a zoo, and the answer will be none, because scientific research is done at places called "A research Center".
Now zoos are not where Animals started, they do not have the rights that we do, we can at least leave them alone.
Or protect them where they stared.
And if evolution is true, than we are all Animals, and we should be out in cages too!

That's all I have for now.
Thanks you
Debate Round No. 1
newc_25

Pro

My opponent stated that "...a zoo's job is NOT to conserve wild species..." this is completely incorrect and defeats the point of a zoo. I would like to see a reference for this statement. I would also like to remind my opponent I am specifically looking at UK zoos.

Answers:
1. I am confident in saying that the majority of animal welfare and behaviour research is carried out in zoos, as I am a researcher myself. Zoos were originally created as scientific institutes to study exotic animals, but had to be opened to the public for funding.

2. "Now zoos are not where Animals started, they do not have the rights that we do, we can at least leave them alone."
-- It is true that animals do not have the same rights as us; however, we are the cause of the mass extinctions and thus we have a moral obligation to protect them. If we left them alone, they will all become extinct. As for "protect them where they started." this is near impossible in some cases. Think about poaching, deforestation and Global warming. What would be the point in reintroducing species and spending thousands of pounds if they are going to be wiped out again or they cannot sustain themselves sufficiently? As for in situ conservation, this is a common practice. The West African black rhino is being carefully monitored and managed in the wild. For more information on endangered species, please visit http://www.iucnredlist.org....

"...if evolution is true, than we are all Animals, and we should be out in cages too!"
-- Humans are like mosquitos, the whole world is covered in them, so why would we want to cage them? Also, what does this statement have to do with zoos and conservation?

3. Animal conservation centres are zoos and zoos are animal conservation centres - different name.

4. Some zoos do get Government funding.

Good luck :)
mr.cots

Con

mr.cots forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
newc_25

Pro

As my opponent forfeited the previous round, I am going to take the opportunity to discuss some issues with in situ conservation (where animals are conserved in the wild where they belong).

To begin with, in situ conservation is the most advantageous form of conservation, as it means animals are able to remain in their natural habitat and stay wild. This is obviously the best option for the animals involved; however, it is not always possible.

Some problems facing in situ conservation:
- Poaching
- Illegal pet trade
- Bush meat
- Traditional Chinese medicines
- Souvenirs
- Deforestation
- Global warming

As you can see, all of the above are caused by Man. Humans are responsible for the mass extinction and so we have a moral duty to care for these animals. Zoos are not the best option; however, sometimes they are the only option. It costs thousands to reintroduce animals back into the wild and there is no point if they are going to be wiped out straight away. It is important to eradicate the causal factor to begin with; however, this is a long, slow process and if we didn't have zoos, the animals would die out before we could help them.

For in situ conservation to work, we need to address these problems and work with the people who are causing the animals to disappear. However, how do you explain the importance of animal conservation to people who are literally starving, but manage to make enough money through poaching, to feed themselves and their families?

It is so easy for us to criticise zoos, but as you can see, in situ conservation is not always the answer, thus zoos are the next best option. This brings me back to my argument: zoos are not out-dated and are essential for animal conservation.

Do you want your children to grow up without knowing what a rhino looks like? A tiger? A polar bear? Any animal infact? All animals create a balance and all living organisms have a purpose.

Think about it.

Please vote pro :)
mr.cots

Con

mr.cots forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by JBeukema 8 years ago
JBeukema
Pro by default
Posted by wjmelements 8 years ago
wjmelements
I defaulted PRO.
Posted by newc_25 8 years ago
newc_25
Precisely :)
Posted by JBeukema 8 years ago
JBeukema
Humanity: The problem and the solution!
Posted by newc_25 8 years ago
newc_25
And how do you propose we "stop killing them"? There are already management practices in place in countries with endangered species. Here are the problems endangered animals are faced with:

- Poaching
- Bush meat
- Illegal pet trade
- Traditional Chinese medicines
- Souveniers
- Global warming
+ many, many more.

It's an extremely slow process eradicating the above factors and animals are being wiped out by the thousands every year. This brings me back to my argument - zoos are absolutely necessary in the protection of endangered species.

Vote pro!
Posted by JBeukema 8 years ago
JBeukema
'without zoos, how can we expect a critically endangered species to survive at all?'

if we stop killing them, maybe...

I think you're addressing the symptom and missing the disease ;)
Posted by newc_25 8 years ago
newc_25
That is true, but that's why we have researchers. However, without zoos, how can we expect a critically endangered species to survive at all? Even if, as in the Prezwalski's Horse and West African black rhino, a species has become extinct in the wild, at least we still have them in captivity and we can try to rehabilitate them. Behaviour research is growing all the time and we are always finding new things.

An example of a successful reintroduction was the black footed ferret. They were thought to be extinct in the wild, so they tried to reintroduce them. Research was limited and so they all died out... However, a new group of them was found in the wild and taken into captivity. These were then released back into the wild (obviously following a whole load of research) and now they are thriving. Without zoos, these beautiful creatures would've just simple disappeared.
Posted by JBeukema 8 years ago
JBeukema
All the studies I've heard of indicated that animals that are born and grow up in captivity oft do quite poorly if released into the wild.
Posted by SniperJake94 8 years ago
SniperJake94
The last passanger pigeon died in the Cintipia zoo. They do not carry out the animal conservation function out well.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by moeinc 7 years ago
moeinc
newc_25mr.cotsTied
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Vote Placed by JBeukema 8 years ago
JBeukema
newc_25mr.cotsTied
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Vote Placed by wjmelements 8 years ago
wjmelements
newc_25mr.cotsTied
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Total points awarded:70