Justice for Exhibition Animals Who Died Due to Alleged Neglect

Target: Janusz Wojciechowski, Commissioner of European Department of Agriculture and Rural Development

Goal: Solidify welfare treaties to enhance protections for vulnerable animals.

An aquarium in Germany containing over one million liters of water burst, killing almost all of the 1,500 fish inside. Their carcasses were strewn on the floor of the hotel where the aquarium stood. In Sweden, four chimpanzees got loose from their zoo enclosure and were captured a short time later. But due to a reported lack of tranquilizer, these animals were euthanized. In the latter case, the zoo in question is being investigated for possible violations of the country’s Animal Welfare Act.

All of these tragic deaths seemingly could have been prevented if the organizations responsible for the care of the animals were held to greater account. The zoo had allegedly not ensured its enclosures were escape-proof, and the lack of stimulation and isolation the chimpanzees experienced likely contributed to their actions. And in the case of the aquarium, structural weaknesses that could not withstand extremely cold temperatures are theorized to have contributed to the collapse.

Any entity that wants to put wild animals up for public display should have to meet the strictest set of welfare protocols and protections. Sign the petition below to urge European leaders to strengthen these obviously lacking standards.


Dear Commissioner Wojciechowski,

Zoo employees shoot dead several roaming chimpanzees they reportedly allowed to escape, calling the actions euthanasia. A popular Berlin tourist attraction transforms into a graveyard for 1,500 fish. Where is the accountability?

Animals cannot and should not be wantonly put up for public exhibition without a thought for their well-being. Both of the cited cases may have turned out very differently if proper measures were taken that put the welfare of these animals first. How many more similar and lower-profile instances have occurred across Europe, taking the lives of too many animals to count?

Please enact stronger standards (and much stronger consequences in the event of a breach) for zoos, aquariums, and other businesses that profit from the animals under their care. Moreover, clarify associated articles in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to include all animals, from companion animals to exhibition animals.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Eric Pancer

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