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Say NO to NIRAH!
Posted 1 January 2005
Animal Aid is lending its support to the campaign against the construction of a massive new aquarium known as the National Institute for Research into Aquatic Habitats - or the NIRAH project. It is claimed that the central purpose of the NIRAH is conservation. However, snatching animals from the wild and calling it conservation is a con: the only true way of helping species at risk is to protect their wild habitats, as opposed to cooping them up in captivity.
Shockingly, not only will NIRAH be an aquatic zoo, but it will also house a laboratory in which drug company and university scientists will carry out research on aquatic or semi-aquatic animals, to investigate the 'biomedical potential' hidden in the toxins, venoms and secretions they produce.
Even more scandalous are plans to conduct research into ways of farming some of the fish and reptiles for meat in their native countries. NIRAH describes these animals as 'living gold'.
Should the NIRAH be built, it will be four times the size of the Eden Project - with which it appears to be clearly competing in terms of scale and prestige.
The organisers have recently entered into discussions with Bedfordshire local and county councils with a view to building the aquarium there.
Despite objections from The Captive Animals Protection Society (CAPS), councillors are embracing the project with open arms, believing it will generate large sums of tourist income for the area. This displays extreme naivety on the part of the Council as to the general uneasiness most people feel over animal experiments - and, increasingly, keeping wild animals in captivity.
To find out what you can do to help, see the action alerts section.