Abolish Japanese Bear Parks

  • by: World Animal Day
  • target: S.E. Mr. Takahiro Shinyo, Ambassador of Japan, Berlin/Germany

In Japan, bears are kept in concrete parks and forced to beg for food in the name of public entertainment.

Japan's bear parks were originally set up to care for orphaned wild black and brown bears. But high visitor demand meant park owners continued breeding bears to turn a healthy profit. The parks are overrun. Staff cannot keep the bears in adequate conditions, and this damages their physical and mental health.

The bears suffer from:

  • Overcrowding (living in cramped and squalid concrete cells).
  • Boredom (the uniformity of the barren concrete and steel enclosures can lead to aggression and madness).
  • Bad diet (the parks provide bears with a poor diet, relying on unsupervised public feeding sessions as the bears main source of food).
  • Injuries and infections caused by fights over food, boredom and stress.
  • Unnatural behaviour (circus shows force bears to perform tricks, cubs are dressed up for photo opportunities.).

WSPA is working with member society JANET to increase pressure on Japan's bear park owners to improve their welfare standards or face being shut down. And it is working. In 2006, due to persistent WSPA pressure, a large park in Japan created a new forested area for 20 of their bears. 
But we need to do more because hundreds of bears are still suffering in concrete enclosures across Japan. Please sign to support WSPA in their work and ask the Japanese Ambassador to help end this cruelty!

Dear Excellency,

We the undersigned are shocked about the cruelty happening to bears in Japanese bear parks. What once started as care for orphaned wild black and brown bears has turned to animal abuse for profit and entertainment purposes.

The bears suffer from overcrowding, boredom, malnutrition, injuries and infections. They even have to beg for their food! Natural behaviour is not possible for those beautiful animals. How can an industrial nation, which Japan is, accept that animals are treated that way?

We understand that some bear park owners are improving the bears' conditions because of persistent pressure from animal welfare organisations but the Japanese Government need to act as well as hundreds of bears are still suffering in concrete enclosures across Japan.

Please help end this cruelty by setting up a law to abolish bear parks! Your support is highly appreciated.

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