Monday, December 14, 2009

More on Mountain View Conservation and Breeding Centre

I thought I would include a few more links on this breaking story because I imagine it is going to bubble on for a while. I believe that it is worth reading the comments in the link directly below because some very valid points are being raised for and against. In a couple of places I have seen it said that this place is "Not a Zoo!" Ridiculous, of course it is.

Cruel euthanization of endangered species alleged
The B.C. SPCA has launched an investigation into allegations that animals at an endangered-species breeding facility were inhumanely euthanized by having their throats slit, being hammered to death, or by being shot with multiple rounds from small-calibre rifles.
But the owner of the Mountain View Conservation and Breeding Centre in Fort Langley, east of Vancouver, calls the claims groundless allegations by disgruntled former employees and says he has welcomed SPCA investigators to the site.
The SPCA began the investigation over the weekend after former staffers said cost cutting at the facility led to animals being abused, neglected and dying horrible deaths.
Todd Streu, the spokesman for the former employees, said they have pictures to back up their claims of improper housing, unsafe working procedures and improper euthanasia techniques.
In one case a rhinoceros, Ivan, broke his horn, but no veterinarian was ever called to treat him, said Streu. Two giraffes also recently died at the facility, the SPCA has confirmed.
The general manager of cruelty investigations with the B.C. SPCA, Marcie Moriarty, said the allegations are surprising, because Mountain View has had a world-class reputation for more than 20 years.
"We weren't aware of any complaints, nothing


Claims of cruelty at zoo
Current and former staffers allege suffering and death at facility
Animals at a "world-class" Fort Langley zoo are neglected, abused and dying -- their carcasses tossed at times to packs of wild dogs -- according to employee allegations now under investigation by the B.C. SPCA.
The shocking charges include case files on about 50 deaths at the endangered-species facility known as the Mountain View Conservation and Breeding Centre, whose services are used by B.C.'s environment ministry.
The allegations -- which the zoo's founder denies -- are drawn from an extensive list of claims made by eight current and former employees of the centre and include:

- Management's refusal to provide veterinary care for sick or injured animals;

- A cruelly botched "mercy killing" carried out by hitting an animal repeatedly on the head with a hammer and, in other cases, the slitting of throats and use of a low-calibre rifle to shoot animals so that killings "take a very long time, [take] multiple bullets and [cause] a great deal of unnecessary animal suffering;"

- Dead animals disposed of by being fed to packs of African wild dogs at the facility.

During the SPCA investigation into these allegations, an adult and baby giraffe died at Mountain View within a day of each other last weekend.

Marcie Moriarty, general manager of cruelty investigations for the B.C. SPCA, confirmed she is leading an in-depth probe into the employee allegations. She also confirmed that the two giraffes had died, and that there are "husbandry" -- or breeding -- concerns at the centre.
Moriarty said she was "surprised" by the allegations, as Mountain View has a "world-class" reputation.
"This is an institution where we'd never received complaints before," she said.


The alleged breaches are generally driven by management's focus on saving money, the employees allege.
If true, it's a unique state of affairs for a facility founded in 1986 by president and CEO Gordon Blankstein, a charismatic multimillionaire and international financier.
Blankstein has successfully sold many small start-up companies, but his net worth is not what it was when he and wife Yvonne purchased 50 hectares of farmland to launch Mountain View.
Blankstein confirmed to The Province that he lost about $100 million when the technology stock bubble burst 10 years ago.
He has branded Mountain View as a modern ark and has gained a reputation in the media as a "new Noah" for his work as an "environmental philanthropist" who has poured up to $500,000 a year into Mountain View -- which is now a non-profit society with many donors, he says.
"We are breeding endangered animals for release back to the wild and we are involved in high-profile projects and release work around the world," Blankstein told The



B.C. zoo under investigation for animal abuse
The B.C. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is investigating allegations of abuse at a large conservation ranch that's home to about 50 species of rare and endangered species.
A group of former and current employees apparently sparked the investigation, alleging that animals had been abused and neglected at the ranch over the past five years.
Todd Streu is a spokesperson for the group.
"Why are they not speaking publicly? Because they're afraid of retribution," Streu said on behalf of the eight staffers. "None of these people are disgruntled ... they're afraid the animals aren't being taken care of."
The Mountain View Conservation Society operates the 250-acre ranch in Fort Langley, B.C., near Vancouver.
Its aim is to breed animals that are facing extinction, so that they can be released into the wild again one day. Two examples


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