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Animal activists denounce G20 goldfish security

November 11, 2010

A water maintenance worker holds a pipe as he watches goldfish swim in a tank beneath the venue of the … WASHINGTON (AFP) – Animal rights activists criticized South Korea for placing goldfish in harm's way as part of elaborate security measures for the Group of 20 summit opening Thursday.

South Korean authorities said that, in addition to deploying thousands of armed police, they would use six goldfish which would be placed in the restrooms' water supply to ensure purity.

US-based People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) countered Wednesday that goldfish suffer pain in much the same way as dogs and cats.

"Protecting world leaders is very serious, but so is protecting animals who feel pain just as people do," said PETA's executive vice president, Tracy Reiman.

"There are a variety of modern scientific methods that would better protect world leaders and keep fish from enduring agonizing deaths from contaminated water," she wrote in a letter to South Korean authorities.

Oh Su-Young of the convention center earlier told AFP that the fish "symbolize an eco-friendly water policy" with used water recycled for the restrooms.

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