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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.”


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