Indonesia: Your Support and Actions Have Now Made A Big Difference. New Legislation To Be Introduced Nationally.

Relating to one of our recent campaigns:


Your efforts and actions have hopefully now made a difference:


Animal protection laws promised after Indonesian bear footage goes viral

21 February 2017

Animal lovers are celebrating as Indonesia’s government finally acknowledged zoos need standardised laws on animal care to avoid cruelty.

Footage showing sun bears in poor conditions at Bandung Zoo set the internet alight last month with people around the world voicing anger and sorrow that any animal could be kept in such appalling conditions.

Read more:

Indonesia’s Bandung Zoo bears need more than food

International spotlight means hope for Indonesia’s Bandung Zoo bears

With those conditions not confined to just one zoo, Animals Asia called for legislative change to improve the welfare of all animals at all facilities.

Following months of criticism the Indonesian government appears to have heeded the calls and has promised to standardise captive animal care through national regulation.

It’s a move that could not only safeguard the future of these bears but also improve the lives of thousands of captive animals across the country.

The nation’s Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar told media such legal protection was necessary to avoid future problems and specifically referred to Bandung Zoo where the sun bears are kept.

Animals Asia’s Animal Welfare Director Dave Neale responded:

“This announcement is very promising and exactly what we have been calling for. It clearly shows the government taking the concern of domestic and global citizens seriously and responding to criticism. However, we need to wait for the government to release the regulation before we can comment on the potential effectiveness.”

The world was alerted to the dire conditions of sun bears at Bandung Zoo by local NGO Scorpion Foundation. The charity is partly funded by Animals Asia to expose animal welfare abuses such as this.

Animals Asia Founder and CEO, Jill Robinson MBE said:

“This is very much a step in the right direction for Indonesia and has the potential to change the lives of thousands of animals. We thank the government for listening to criticism and the willingness they have shown to respond and look for solutions. We look forward to seeing the draft regulation and advising where necessary.”

Other AA news:



England: Cumbrian zoo where almost 500 animals died is refused new licence.


Regarding our recent post re Cumbria zoo:


Today, 6/3/17 we have the news that we had hoped we would get:


Cumbrian zoo where almost 500 animals died is refused new licence.

Application by founder of South Lakes Safari zoo turned down after inspectors reported ‘obvious deficiencies’.

The founder of a zoo in Cumbria, where nearly 500 animals died in less than four years, has been refused a new licence to run it.

The chair of Barrow council’s licensing committee, Tony Callister, said the unanimous decision was made because councillors were not satisfied conservation matters referred to in the Zoo Licensing Act would be implemented.

Callister said the committee had taken into account Gill’s conviction under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 regarding the escape into the wild of a number of sacred ibis.

The committee heard inspectors had visited South Lakes Safari zoo in January and were “dismayed by the obvious deficiencies in the accommodation, the overcrowding and the lack of proper welfare and husbandry”.

If we really love animals, we should close all zoos now

Catherine Bennett

They are the last of the Georgian cruelty shows, yet the public seems unmoved by the suffering they cause

Read more

Last week, a damning report on conditions at the tourist attraction in Dalton-in-Furness, which is home to more than 1,500 animals, found 486 inhabitants died of causes including emaciation and hypothermia between December 2013 and September 2016.

Inspectors recommended the local authority refuse to renew the zoo’s licence and that Gill, who founded the zoo in 1994, be prosecuted under the Animal Welfare Act for allowing animals to suffer.

The inspectors, who are appointed by the government, found “overcrowding, poor hygiene, poor nutrition, lack of suitable animal husbandry and a lack of any sort of developed veterinary care” when they visited.

The zoo was awarded a six-year licence in June 2010 and the council received Gill’s application for renewal in January 2016. In July 2016 the council rejected the application, agreeing with inspectors that Gill was “not a fit and suitable person” to manage the zoo.

But the law dictates that if the licensee reapplies for a new licence, the existing licence continues to apply until the application has been processed or withdrawn. Although Gill’s licence has now been terminated, the zoo will stay open until a decision is made this summer on a licence application by Cumbria Zoo Company Ltd, which now runs the attraction.

The zoo was fined £255,000 last June for health and safety breaches after the death of keeper Sarah McClay, 24, who was mauled by a Sumatran tiger in 2013. Gill was criticised for saying McClay died because she failed to follow the correct procedures.

Among a catalogue of animal deaths in the report were those of two snow leopard cubs named Miska and Natasja, who were discovered partially eaten in their enclosure. An African spurred tortoise named Goliath died after being electrocuted by electric fencing, and the decomposing body of a squirrel monkey was discovered behind a radiator.

Following the publication of the inspectors’ report, a spokeswoman for the Captive Animals’ Protection Society said the zoo licensing system was failing to protect animals and accused local authorities of neglecting to punish zoos that fell below required standards.

The charity has called for a centralised body to monitor zoo standards, to replace the current system where local authorities are responsible for organising inspections.

Gill formally handed over management of the zoo to Cumbria Zoo Company and its chief executive, Karen Brewer, in January. The business is leasing the zoo for six months from Gill, whose lawyer said he had “stepped away from all trading and management activities connected with the zoo”.

Cumbria Zoo Company is in the process of purchasing South Lakes Safari Zoo Ltd, the former operating company, from owner Gill.

Inspectors remained unconvinced that this transfer of power was enough to change conditions, accusing Gill of being “desperate to continue to maintain control over the zoo in one form or another”.

“Between November and July 2015, nine different management teams have been proposed to the [local authority] to manage the zoo,” the report reads.

But there has always been a single common denominator behind all these changes; [David Gill] continued to run the zoo, either directly or indirectly, with [Karen Brewer] being presented as the manager or CEO.”

In a response to an inspectors’ report last year, Brewer defended Gill against what she described as unwarranted personal attacks. “What perhaps is hard to perceive for the inspectors, and for myself and the management to portray, is the synergistic relationship between Safari Zoo and David Gill,” she wrote.

“I am confident in my own position to manage the zoo without David here on a regular basis, but we do need his ideas and his contribution in this zoo as it is vital to keep its heart alive.”

A spokesperson for the Captive Animals Society criticised the change of management as inadequate. “Four out of eight of the new directors of Cumbria Zoo Ltd are past directors or key managers at South Lakes Safari Zoo,” it said.

“The CEO of Cumbria Zoo, Karen Brewer, has been present at South Lakes Safari zoo inspections as far back as 2011. At these inspections, inspectors have raised varying degrees of animal welfare concerns and deaths.”


And from the BBC:

South Lakes Safari Zoo: Council refuses owner licence

The owner of a zoo criticised over animal welfare concerns and where a keeper was killed by a tiger has lost his bid to renew his licence.

David Gill’s claim for a licence to run South Lakes Safari Zoo in Dalton-in-Furness was unanimously refused by Barrow councillors.

He now has 28 days to appeal. In February, a report found 486 animals had died there in four years.

Inspectors had previously recommended new management should be found.

In 2013, keeper Sarah McClay, from Glasgow, was mauled to death by a tiger and the zoo was later fined £297,500 for health and safety breaches.

See more reaction here

Will the zoo close?

According to the council’s report, the zoo should close to the public “upon refusal of the licence”.

However, the closure is delayed if an appeal is made, which Mr Gill has 28 days to lodge.

He launched his bid for a fresh licence after councillors previously rejected his claim to renew the licence he was originally granted in 1994.

Mr Gill has handed management of South Lakes over to the Cumbria Zoo Company Ltd and said he plans to sell the zoo to that group as well.

The zoo company’s application for a licence to run the zoo is yet to be heard.

After the hearing, Ms McClay’s boyfriend David Shaw said he was “satisfied” with the council’s decision and said he hoped Mr Gill would step aside so Cumbria Zoo Company would “prove they can operate in a safe way”.

Mr Gill did not attend the hearing at Barrow Town Hall and councillors rejected an appeal from his solicitor Steve Walker to postpone the meeting.

Mr Walker said his client no longer wanted to run the zoo, which houses 1,500 animals including tigers, giraffes and rare birds, but did not want to see it close before the new company had a licence approved.

Cumbria Police raised concerns that only three zoo staff members held firearms certificates in the event of an animal escaping.

Following a site visit in January, government-appointment inspectors said they were “dismayed by the obvious deficiencies in the accommodation, the overcrowding and the lack of proper welfare and husbandry”.

Deaths included two rare snow leopards found partially eaten and seven “healthy lion cubs euthanised because the zoo did not have space to house them”.

The inspectors also found cold animals in the unheated Africa House, which was so badly designed, its sloped yard was finished with smooth instead of rough concrete, causing a giraffe to slip to its death.

‘Bound to get bitten’

Inspectors also raised concerns about animals fighting each other, uncontrolled breeding of lemurs and a heightened risk of public safety.

Mr Gill said animals in the wild “get injured when fighting” and “people are bound to get bitten occasionally”, the report said.

The report to the council’s licensing committee also criticised the zoo’s duty of care to its staff.

One example given was that of workers wanting to access the Andean bear building had to crawl through the doors used by the animals.

The zoo was also previously fined £42,500 after a keeper fell from a ladder while preparing to feed big cats in July 2014.

Mr Gill has also been convicted over the escape of a number of sacred ibis.

The Captive Animals’ Protection Society (Caps), which also inspected South Lakes, said the zoo was one of the worst it had seen.

‘Absolutely gobsmacked’

Katie Richards, from charity Born Free, said she had visited the zoo on Sunday and had been able to take part in feeding a jaguar using a pair of tongs through a cage.

She said: “I was absolutely gobsmacked by how close you could get to those animals with a pair of tongs.

“The problem here and the issue is both animal welfare and public safety and I felt very unsafe in that situation.”

In a letter to the committee, Mr Gill’s representatives said he was “absolutely committed to leaving the zoo” and transferring it to the new company.






UK: Almost 500 Animals Dead At UK Zoo – In The UK, How Do Authorities Allow This To Happen ?


Inspectors find suffering and unnecessary deaths at South Lakes Safari Zoo


Controversy surrounding South Lakes Safari Zoo in Cumbria has been going on for years. Of course, many of us will remember the tragic death of Sarah McClay who died when attacked by a Sumatran tiger who had managed to escape through an unlocked gate. Aside from these obvious health and safety concerns which the owner was eventually prosecuted for, concerns about the animals were raised with us by members of the public. This led to us closely monitoring the zoo, as we do with many zoos around the country.

When the Zoo License for the zoo was up for renewal in July 2016, the council chose not to renew it, a strong action from the council which indicated major problems at the zoo.  On a visit we carried out at the zoo later that month, our investigators filmed and photographed animals with health or welfare concerns on display to the public like those shown below. On one of the hottest days of the year, the penguins were a sad sight to see with no water in their pool for them to swim in. There were no signs explaining why and no keepers to be seen.

Read more at:

Major and local newspapers across the UK reported on the story today, including the Guardian, The Times and the BBC.

A keeper at the zoo informed inspectors that she was told by the management ‘if there were any further deaths, she was to just dispose of the bodies and not to tell anyone.’

Inspectors have quite clearly stated that the blame falls to David Gill, the licence holder, for the suffering and some of the deaths of the animals. They concluded in a report to the council ‘The conditions that theses animals are being held in, is quite frankly appalling, and has led directly to the death of a number of them.’ They advised the council to prosecute David Gill under Section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act for allowing the animals to suffer.

SAV Comment – It all looks very impressive on their website; but does reality show another truth ?


A statement from our friends at the Captive Animals Protection Society (CAPS)



We submitted all of our findings to the local council who have welcomed us to join their committee meeting NEXT Monday, 6th March.

Here they will discuss and decide on the latest application to renew the zoo licence.

Our Campaigns Director, Nicola O’Brien and I will be there to represent you and the animals, to push for the application to be rejected and for the zoo to be closed down for good. 





Heartbreaking photos reveal suffering of Mosul zoo animals including a lion and a bear left to starve to death by ISIS


Photos – Reuters.



Heartbreaking photos reveal suffering of Mosul zoo animals including a lion and a bear left to starve to death by ISIS


These shocking photos reveal the suffering of Mosul zoo animals after they were left to starve to death by cruel ISIS thugs.

An emaciated lioness was found cowering in a squalid cage and lying on exposed cables at Al-Murur public park after the area was liberated from the terror group.

Another heartbreaking image shows a bear looking mournfully through the rusting bars of its enclosure.




Read more: Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook



Yes, Happy Bloody Christmas !! – War-Torn Yemen Is Letting Its Zoo Animals Starve to Death.


UPDATE 28/12 – Petition to sign:



War-Torn Yemen Is Letting Its Zoo Animals Starve to Death

The 265 animals in Yemen’s Taiz Zoo, including rare leopards, haven’t been fed for days. The government is rejecting proposals to save them.



A malnourished lion stares out of a blood- and urine-soaked cage. Eleven lions died of starvation after they were abandoned at Yemen’s Taiz Zoological Gardens in early 2016.

Photograph by Mercury Press, Caters News

By Natasha Daly

PUBLISHED December 21, 2016

War births refugees. Streaming out of blasted-out cities, civilians are forced to flee their homes, sometimes their families, away from the bombs, into the unknown.

What happens when you can’t leave? That’s the story of abandoned zoos in wartime. It’s the story unfolding now for the animals in Yemen’s Taiz Zoological Gardens, neglected in the cross fire of the country’s civil war. Here 28 Arabian leopards, critically endangered in the wild, haven’t eaten in six days. They and nearly 240 other animals face imminent death if they aren’t fed very soon.

The story began early this year when the Yemeni government, which runs the zoo, stopped paying the staff and abandoned the facility in the face of escalating violence. In February, after a media flurry drew international attention to the deteriorating conditions at the zoo, SOS Zoo and Bear Rescue—a rescue organization established on Facebook by Chantal Jonkergouw—began raising funds to cover the cost of food, water, and care for the animals. According to Jonkergouw, who lives in Sweden, SOS has raised more than $125,000 from individual donors during the past ten months.

On November 30 she made the agonizing decision to stop feeding the animals until the government agrees to release them to rescuers. She says they’re still getting fresh water every day.

A local Good Samaritan then stepped in to bring the leopards and other meat eaters food, but he hasn’t been seen since December 16—the last time the carnivores were fed. The zoo’s herbivores have been subsisting on a rapidly diminishing supply of rotten vegetables. According to Bassam Al-Hakimi, SOS’s project manager in Taiz, many of the animals are showing signs of extreme weakness.



These Arabian leopards, critically endangered in the wild, haven’t been fed since December 16.

Photograph by Mercury Press, Caters News

“As they grow hungrier, the stronger ones might prey on the weaker ones,” Jonkergouw says. “Especially the big cats. Stress also can have a very negative effect on the animals’ behavior. Personally, I think that most of them will lie down and die slowly.”

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Taiz, considered Yemen’s cultural capital, has been a flashpoint in the country’s ongoing civil war, a clash between Shia Muslim Houthis and Saudi-backed forces loyal to the nation’s pre-war government. The Taiz zoo became an overlooked casualty of the war after the government lost control of the city and many zoo workers fled the bombings and food shortages that have plagued the region.


A lion wastesaway, abscesses ravaging its body. Facilities in the United Arab Emirates and Jordan have offered to rescue the zoo’s animals, but the Yemeni government refuses to allow their evacuation.

Photograph by Mercury Press, Caster News

According to Jonkergouw, before SOS intervened on February, 11 lions and six Arabian leopards had starved to death. “One leopard had eaten its female companion,” she says. The surviving animals were found living in squalor on bare concrete, bloodied, with festering abscesses, feces everywhere. One drastically malnourished lion was found with his hip bone jutting through his skin. Emergency surgery saved his life, barely.

Other animals in the zoo include hyenas, monkeys, birds, porcupines, baboons, and guinea pigs. Many of the creatures have displayed signs of severe zoochosis—a condition that often afflicts animals kept captive in artificial environments and is characterized by obsessive, repetitive behaviors. The din and detritus of war may compound the suffering: In mid-December a nearby building was bombed, spraying shrapnel into the zoo’s grounds.

The proximity of the fighting complicates rescue efforts: Other than the SOS-funded Tamdeen Youth Foundation, a local group that has provided all food, care, and water for the animals, no other organization has been involved on the ground—it’s too dangerous.

The Yemeni government, which now has limited sway in Taiz, has denied the transfer permits that might at least give the animals a chance of being extracted from Houthi territory and brought to another country where they would have hope for long-term survival.

SOS has kept the animals alive at a cost of $4,000 a week, covering food and care and modest salaries for a small staff of six, Jonkergouw says. SOS had just $10,000 left when at the end of last month she decided to cut off the food supplies.

“Without [the Yemeni government] being cooperative towards finding a real solution, I don’t think it’s acceptable any longer” for SOS to provide the funding and care that the government won’t, she says. “They need to feel it. The problem is, it’s at the expense of the animals, but there’s no other option. Whatever we do, the animals will suffer.”

Evacuating so many captive animals from the heart of a war zone would present the Yemeni government with a dangerous logistical challenge, but offers of safe havens have been made.

The Princess Alia Foundation in Jordan and the Breeding Centre for Endangered Arabian Wildlife in the United Arab Emirates, in conjunction with that country’s Al Ain Zoo, have both said they’d take the animals. It could cost up to $500,000 USD to evacuate the zoo, which would require armed guards to ensure safe exit. Jonkergouw is confident that her organization and others could raise the money with aid from NGOs but emphasizes that Yemen first needs to agree to facilitate an evacuation. The International Union for Conservation of Nature, the body that monitors the conservation status of species, has actively been trying to broker an agreement between Yemen and the UAE-based rescue facilities, to no avail yet.

Yemeni government officials have told Jonkergouw that they won’t entertain either offer. “They replied that they will never let the animals out of Yemen and that the animals were well cared for and doing fine. And then I really got pissed,” Jonkergouw says. “I said, why are they fine? I raised $125,000 and paid most of that into this project without getting any real cooperation on a sustainable solution for these animals. So I’m fed up with this. I will stop.”

The Yemeni government, which now has limited sway in Taiz, has denied the transfer permits that might at least give the animals a chance of being extracted.

An official from Yemen’s Environment Protection Authority, which has represented the government in talks with Jonkergouw, did not respond to a request for comment.

The Leopard Factor

There are likely only about 80 wild Arabian leopards left on the planet. The Taiz Zoo has 28, including two cubs born in September. Jonkergouw believes Yemen is reluctant to send the cats to another country, even temporarily, because Arabian leopards, as the national animal, are a source of deep pride.

Any loss of Arabian leopards is devastating, given how rare the species is. Four cubs disappeared from the zoo shortly after SOS stepped in. Zoo officials at the time said they were probably eaten. Jonkergouw raises the possibility that they were stolen and sold on the black market. (The Arabian peninsula has a sizable black market for exotic cats as pets.) After that incident she arranged for a full-time armed guard for the leopards.

Now the very thing keeping the leopards trapped in Taiz—their prized status in Yemen—could be the key to their salvation. If the leopards begin dying of starvation, Jonkergouw hopes the government may relent and allow the transfer of the leopards and all the other animals. “Probably more leopards have to die before they realize that they have to evacuate them,” she says.

She intends to start feeding the animals again as soon as Yemen signs a letter of intent permitting rescue by the facilities in Jordan or the UAE, or outlining an alternative plan. She would rather see the animals euthanized than face death by starvation but doubts that will happen. “I don’t think the zoo will cooperate with euthanizing them,” she says.

Where To Go From Here

The situation is getting more dire by the day. With only two of the original six workers still at the zoo, there aren’t enough hands to keep the cages clean, though starvation will likely kill the animals before sepsis does. No one is currently guarding the leopards.

Gail A’Brunzo, Animal Rescue Manager at the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), a U.S.-based NGO that rescues and protects animals and their habitats around the world, commends what SOS Zoo and Bear Rescue has been doing to keep the animals alive. She acknowledges that there seems no recourse other than “to cease operations in a last-ditch effort to try and persuade the government to step up. A heartbreaking decision on their part, I’m sure.”

Jonkergouw says she is often asked how she can justify wanting to save animals in a war zone when people are dying and suffering. “It’s humans who put these animals there,” she says. “They’re our responsibility. There’s so much human suffering in the world, and there will be much more in the future. If you take that as the starting point, then you’ll never get to the welfare of the animals. It’s always an excuse to not [act]. It’s our responsibility.”

For updates about the ongoing situation at the Taiz Zoo, visit SOS Zoo and Bear Rescue on Facebook and partner organization, A Lion’s Heart.

Natasha Daly is an assistant editor at National Geographic. Follow her on Twitter.





Serbia: Official Request To Have All Serbian Zoos Closed Down.

Serbian  Flag


This is our official Request to close all zoos in Serbia.










News From Four Paws UK: All Animals In Gaza Hell Hole Zoo Now Rescued.


Past SAV links:  

four paws gaza

Dear Mark

FOUR PAWS rescues all animals from Khan Younis Zoo.
If you’re having problems viewing this email,  open it in your browser.

success 2

SUCCESS. Thanks to your outstanding support, the animals of Khan Younis Zoo have been rescued at last.

The FOUR PAWS rescue team arrived in Gaza on Monday to permanently close the zoo, which has been referred to as the ‘worst zoo in the world’.

Sadly, we were heartbroken to learn that one of the animals, the newborn fawn, passed away before our team arrived – once again highlighting the critical nature of our work in Gaza.

Nonetheless, we are happy to report that the 15 remaining animals, including Laziz the tiger, have now been safely transported across the Gaza border into Israel, onwards to a better life.

But the mission will not be complete until every animal has reached their final destination.

Most of the animals will find a new home at the New Hope Center in Jordan. While Laziz will make the longer journey to LIONSROCK, our big cat sanctuary in South Africa.

Watch this space. We’ll be sending a few more emails in the coming days, documenting the rest of the mission.

Warmest regards,

Saige Jennings

P.S. This mission was only possible because of the kind donations, big and small, of our generous supporters. But our work is never over. Please give today to support this mission and our work with animals around the world.


Donations to help: 

Donations to help the team and animals in Gaza –