5 times a petition changed the world for abused animals

29 November 2017

By adding your voice, you have helped end barbaric cruelty against animals – with your continued support we can do even more.

The simple act of signing a petition against animal cruelty can make the voices of abused and defenceless animals heard where it matters most – and change the world.

Hundreds of thousands of you around the world have done just that, united in a common belief that all living creatures deserve to live in peace, safe from harm, hunger and neglect.

Because you refused to stay silent, because you spoke up for the defenceless and because you cared, these animals lives have changed forever.

Don’t let anyone tell you your opinion doesn’t matter or that nothing will change.  This works. Be a voice for the voiceless.

1) Fury over Halong Bears culminates in historic deal to end Vietnam bear bile trade

Bear languished in cage at Cau Trang bear farm

It started off as a petition and ultimately led to an agreement with the Vietnamese government to shut down the bear bile industry for good, in the process saving untold animals from a fate worse than death.

When Animals Asia exposed the horrific ways bears were being kept in Vietnam’s world famous beauty spot, Halong Bay, in 2014, there was an immediate sense of outrage and disgust at the depth of cruelty that could have left these bears emaciated, half dead and nursing open wounds.

More than 120,000 of you signed a petition urging the Vietnamese prime minister to order every single bear still trapped on farms in the area to be rescued. The outcry was too loud to ignore and the prime minister responded by declaring that not only should the bears in Halong Bay be rescued, but every single bear in the wider province should be released too.

Today, not a single bear is farmed for their bile in Quang Ninh province. And we hope this will be the picture across Vietnam in the near future.

Following the success of our campaign to save the Halong bears, the government signed a historic agreement with Animals Asia, declaring they would work with the organisation to rescue every last bear in the country,  and eradicating the vile bear bile industry forever.


A post shared by Animals Asia (@animalsasia) on Jul 19, 2017 at 6:56am PDT

2) Vietnam PM steps in to stop eviction of Animals Asia’s Tam Dao sanctuary

More than 100 bears rescued from bile farms were saved – again – when efforts to evict Animals Asia’s bear sanctuary from its home in Vietnam’s Tam Dao National Park failed.

Disaster was averted in January 2013 when the Vietnamese prime minister himself stepped in to stop the proposed eviction which would have meant putting badly traumatised bears back into cages until new facilities were built elsewhere – and undoing all the painstaking work to heal them.

But this victory would have been impossible without tens of thousands of supporters standing side by side with celebrities, politicians, diplomats, school children and NGOs to stop the eviction, save the bears and allow almost 80 Vietnamese nationals to keep their jobs.

Happy rescued bears living in Animals Asia's sanctuary, 2015

3) Vietnam orders end to “uncivilised” festivals after appeal to stop pig slaughter

The two terrified  pigs were tied up, covered with paint, and forced into a crate

Lunar New Year in Nem Thuong, in Vietnam’s northern Bac Ninh province, is celebrated with the ritual slaughter of two pigs who are tied up, painted and paraded around before being killed, so that villagers can dip money in the blood to receive luck for the coming year.

A campaign by Animals Asia resulted in organisers of the Nem Thuong Pig Slaughter Festivalcoming under attack from all corners of Vietnamese society. A poll showed almost 80 percent of Vietnamese oppose the event, appalled that such a barbaric spectacle is used to mark Lunar New Year – the most important celebration in Vietnamese culture.

The campaign directly led to the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism instructing provinces to stamp out all “out-dated” and “uncivilised” events. Since then, no less than seven events, including buffalo stabbing rituals, have been scrapped.

Criticism over the Nem Thuong festival also forced event organisers to fundamentally change their programme. The pigs are no longer slaughtered in public, but while two pigs are still needlessly lose their lives annually for the event, the reverberations of the petition continue to spark debate and fuel change across the nation.

4) French retail giant Carrefour pulls dog meat from its shelves in China

Animals Asia first discovered dog meat being sold in Carrefour stores in China back in 2012. The French supermarket chain promised to remove the products for good but routine inspections in 2016 and earlier this year showed they remained openly on display in two stores.

The impasse prompted Animals Asia to start a petition against the cruelty which thrives on pets being violently snatched from their owners, transported without vaccinations to protect against rabies, and sold in filthy conditions before being bludgeoned or stabbed to death.

Within 24 hours of the petition going up, Carrefour had backed down, under pressure from the tens of thousands of supporters who had signed the petition and increasing international media scrutiny.

In September 2017, Animals Asia confirmed Carrefour had pulled dog meat from its shelves in two Chinese stores but we are seeking their promise to drop it permanently.

5) Danang city rejects plans for Vietnamese dolphin theme park

Earlier this month, we received news the authorities in Vietnam’s third biggest city Danang had rejected a proposal to construct a dolphinarium, following a campaign led by Animals Asia and backed by more than 200 animal charities globally.

The planned attraction would have resulted in dolphins being taken from the wild and kept in captivity in tiny pools where the stress of confinement is known to lead to illness and premature death – just to perform tricks for the public.

More than 16,000 people signed a petition launched by Animals Asia in November 2015 to oppose the move.

In its ruling, the Danang City People’s Committee said the proposed site of the theme park would be reserved for development and was therefore unsuitable for a dolphinarium.


The official decision comes as more and more people in Europe and North America are turning away from performances involving captive marine mammals after a 2013 documentary, “Blackfish”, raised concerns about the treatment of killer whales in captivity.

The fight goes on for exploited sun bears and monkeys

We know petitions work and as long as they do we will continue to use them to stop cruelty. Here are three ways you can help.

Sun bear mother and cub suffer just so tourists can have a wildlife selfie

For unknowing tourists it may be just a fun photo opportunity. But for the wild animals forced to pose for selfies at the True Bali Experience elephant camp in Indonesia, it means a lifetime of torment. Sign the petition to stop sun bear mother Ajib and her cub Marsha from being exploited as photo props.

UNESCO-accredited site tainted by monkey circus

Monkeys bound at the neck are forced to ride bicycles, perform acrobatics and other tricks for visitors at a UNESCO-designated biosphere reserve in Vietnam. Despite repeated appeals to the UN agency, including an open letter to its director-general, the exploitation of macaques continues. Sign the petition telling UNESCO takes action to end the cruelty.

Dolphins continue to be loaded onto planes for use in travelling circuses

Dolphins are being strapped into a coffin-sized box and put on a plane to take part in travelling circuses in Indonesia. Once they reach their destinations, they are kept in tiny, unsanitary pools where they face illness and disease. It’s pure torture for an animal known to swim a hundred kilometres in a single day in the wild. Sign the petition to demand local airline Sriwijawa Air end their complicity in cruelty and stop their dolphin flights.