Oostvaardersplassen: a beautiful nature reserve for waterfowl in the middle of the Netherlands. Lots of water and reed beds. However due to the lack of grassland and (deciduous) woods, totally unsuitable for large groups of deer, (heck) cattle and (konik) horses. The owner and manager Staatsbosbeheer has started an ecological experiment here that has got completely out of hand. The groups of large grazers have quickly reproduced and now there are too many animals with virtually nothing to eat. Landscape that has been eaten bare and dead, bare trees. In the winter the animals die en masse of hunger. The government designates them as 'wild animals' so there is no duty of care. But they are not wild because they are living in captivity and with no natural enemies. They are given no extra food in the winter in the hope that the animals (many of them pregnant!) will die. It is a forced animal population in captivity, with no natural balance. The situation in the Oostvaardersplassen goes against all the standards of a prosperous society. An experiment that is leading to the horrific death of a large group of grazers, that are totally out of their natural habitat, but have been dumped there in captivity. There is not even enough for the large groups of grazers to eat in the summer. They have no reserves whatsoever to enable them to get through the winter. And the solution put forward by the SBB is that they hope that a lot of animals will die from the cold.
Please sign the petition so that a good plan is made for the grazers in the Oostvaardersplassen!
- a realistic number of animals for the limited area
- a humane solution for the surplus animals