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Seals Spark New Animal Welfare Claims

(From theage.com.au) – Four seals at Melbourne Zoo still have serious eye problems more than six months after the State Government announced a committee to monitor animal welfare at Victoria”s three main zoos.

The seals were moved to the small swimming pool, away from public view last year while the new $20 million Stories of the Sea exhibit was being built. But, after construction delays, the enclosure is not expected to be completed until late next year.

Several senior keepers are furious the seals have been left in the poorly filtered pool. The conditions have caused partial blindness in some of the animals.

“Management is always saying the animal’s welfare is paramount, but the seals are in terrible shape, and the new chief executive (John Wills) has just spent a fortune on his own office refurbishment,” a keeper at Melbourne Zoo said.

Environment Minister Gavin Jennings said in February that improving the seals’ living conditions was a priority. He set up the Animal Welfare Peer Review Committee in response to allegations raised by The Age of abuse and neglect at Melbourne Zoo and Healesville Sanctuary.


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