Japan: Ban Wild Animal Cafes and ‘Petting Bars’

Target: Masaharu Nakagawa, Japanese Minister of the Environment

Goal: Do not allow wild animals to be exploited as a tourist attraction in ‘petting bars.’

Across Japan, a concerning number of ‘petting bars’ have been opening that treat wild animals like pets for the entertainment of tourists. These animal cafes allow tourists to play with animals including hedgehogs, owls, and — most worryingly — otters, who are not domesticated and are not equipped to be living in those conditions.

Otters in particular require a very specific diet and environmental stimulation. These social predators are not meant to live in small enclosures and be exposed to loud noises and human interaction, while also being deprived of socialization with other otters and, in some cases, access to food and water. Additionally, it is likely that as the animals get older and naturally become more aggressive or difficult to manage, the ‘petting bars’ will get rid of them. This is very clearly animal cruelty, and provides fuel for the inhumane, exploitative wildlife trade. Sign below to demand that Japan ban wild animal cafes.


Dear Minister Nakagawa,

The rapid growth of wild animal cafes and ‘petting bars’ in Japan encourages the mistreatment of wild animals and must be stopped. Wild animals such as owls, hedgehogs, and otters are not domesticated pets. Otters especially are social predators who become aggressive as they mature, and have needs that cannot be met when they are kept in isolated cages and forced to behave like pets.

Innocent animals should not be exploited for tourist entertainment and profit. Practices such as this support the wildlife trade, illegal trafficking, poaching, and the exploitation of baby animals as pets for financial gain. I urge you to take a stand against this cruelty and ban animal cafes and ‘petting bars’ in Japan.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Libor Klubal

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  1. lynn woods says:

    leave it to an oriental country to think up some more cruelty to animals


  3. Wendy Morrison says:

    WILD ANIMALS should be left in the WILD to live NOT confined in any type of cages!!!

  4. This rather stupid idea is not at all well thought out. Otters and other wild animals are not suitable for petting cafes. They have a nasty bite apart from anything else. You must be able to think of something else to make a convivial atmosphere for your customers.

  5. simon rickman says:

    morons everywhere – there is no hope for the future. this world and its non-human inhabitants needs nurture and care, not gawping invasive ignorance.

    • Bill Berkeley says:

      Absolutely right, the animals need protection not exploitation. Build huge Reserve where they can wander freely and be protected from poachers


  7. Denise Baudin says:

    Masaharu Nakagawa, Japanese Minister of the Environment:

    What the hell is wrong with those GREEDY asiatic people??????????

    Goal: Do not allow wild animals to be exploited as a tourist attraction in ‘petting bars.’

  8. Margaret Melnick says:

    I hope one of these animals bites some tourist hand off. Or at least a finger. That might make the petting less attractive.

  9. Diabolical exploitation of animals. Ban it NOW!!

  10. Lisa Zarafonetis says:

    Signed & shared❗️?

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