West Midlands MEP Nikki Sinclaire has spoken of her shock and sadness after a giraffe was destroyed due to EU in-breeding rules.
Copenhagen Zoo this morning put down 18 month old giraffe Marius, despite offers from across Europe to take the male giraffe in, including offers from the UK.
Over 20,000 people last night had signed an online petitions appealing for a change of heart.
The zoo said it had no choice because of its duty to avoid in-breeding.
Marius was killed by a bolt gun, not a lethal injection, which would contaminate the meat.
They plan to use his body for research and to feed other animals at the zoo.
Nikki Sinclaire said,
"I was particularly sad to hear of the plight of this beautiful creature this weekend. Despite a huge online effort and offers of a new home coming from far and wide, this animal has now been destroyed.
I've been contacted by both Eurosceptics and Pro-Europeans and for once, we all agree - if an EU rule led to this happening, then this is wrong.
It is particularly galling when we know there were last minute offers to place Marius in other wildlife parks and zoos.
If shooting healthy giraffes with a bolt gun, dissecting them & using them as feed is EU law, then someone needs to be made to explain.
In the 1975 Common market referendum we were told various aspects of joining. This was definitely not part of it. Today is a very sad reason why we need a referendum".