Tigers would happily rip into a goat or a cow in the wild, so is it cruel to feed them to tigers in a zoo? While the public looks on?
Is it lunch or is it demented live entertainment for the Chinese, who copped a pasting in Western media last week for the 'Animal Olympics' in Shanghai, which saw monkeys weightlifting, bears attempting gymnastics and kangaroos boxing...clowns.
Live mice and rats are fed to snakes in zoos, and many would argue rats are more intelligent than goats.
Does it come down to a question then of the size of the 'live lunch'?
Why should tigers miss out on something still kicking when snakes can gorge themselves and the RSPCA says nothing?
Ahhh, moral quandries.
Meanwhile the photos are indeed damn spectacular.
From the DailyMail.co.uk :
According to officials at Changchung Wildlife Park, staff are training the big cats to kill live prey in order to hone their hunting skills.
But animal rights campaigners questioned the park's motives and said the practice of feeding goats and calves to caged tigers raised serious welfare concerns.
A spokesman for the RSPCA said: 'We would question the motives behind feeding live animals to tigers in a non-wild environment. It raises concerns over animal welfare on behalf of the livestock being fed to these tigers.
'Throwing live animals to caged tigers doesn't re-create anything that happens in the wild, if that is their aim.'
Tigers are one of the world's most endangered species, with only 6,000 remaining in the wild. In the past century alone, three sub-species of tiger has become extinct die to illegal hunting and a continued loss of habitat.