Opinion / Opinion Line

A 'zoo' in a mall is not a good idea

(China Daily) Updated: 2016-09-26 07:22

A 'zoo' in a mall is not a good idea

White storks are set free after rescue in Tianjin on Nov 21, 2012. Thirteen poisoned white cranes were saved by a wildlife protection institute in Tianjin before they were set free. Another 20 died from the poisoning. [Photo/Asianewsphoto]

A shopping mall in Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong province, is reportedly planning to build an "indoor zoo" on its seventh floor. Many see it as a move to attract more customers, but Southern Metropolis Daily says it could be a health hazard for both shoppers and the animals:

Experts say it will take a lot of money to build an environment suitable for animals indoors. Air-conditioners will be needed to keep the temperature and humidity stable; workers are to clear the animals' waste and keep the place free of foul odor; and vets are to keep them healthy.

But those shouldn't be a problem for the shopping complex, as it expects to make more profit because of increased footfalls; reports say the animal center alone could attract about 10,000 visitors a day. That's why the local government department in charge of commerce regulation has praised it as "an innovative move".

"Innovative" it may be, the move is improper. Legally speaking, the shopping mall is not a zoo, so it shouldn't get the permit to house a large number of animals. Plus, the animals could spread diseases. Zoos are built in open spaces far away from populated areas of cities to minimize such a possibility.

Reports say the shopping mall plans to keep zoo animals, not pets. But since such animals are not used to indoor life, they may face health problems.

China does not have a law on animal welfare, but it is our responsibility to better protect animals. The shopping mall should reconsider its decision.

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