Animal activists can easily feel burnt out when faced with the endless incidents of animal cruelty that occur in the world. It seems so difficult to keep fighting when your calls fall on deaf ears, but in the end, when all the work does pay off, you have to remember that you’ve not only won but changed the world for countless animals. One such success is the recent closure of a cruel monkey circus at the Can Gio Biosphere Reserve in Vietnam. This incredible win comes after over 40,000 activists lent their voices to a petition!

The petition was written by animal welfare organization Animals Asia, who also contacted UNESCO in 2016 about the monkey circus since the tourist attraction was UNESCO-accredited. Although UNESCO replied, agreeing that the circus, which featured blindfolded monkeys riding bicycles and cowering in fear, was indeed in violation of animal welfare laws, it took 18 months and 43,000 signatures before UNESCO removed its accreditation from the attraction, which then led to the monkey circus being shut down.


Animals Asia’s Animal Welfare Director, Dave Neale stated: “There is still widespread confusion in Vietnam about what constitutes animal cruelty and the fact that a UNESCO-accredited facility hosted a macaque circus really muddied the water for a lot of people … UNESCO’s actions were sanctioning the confinement, humiliation, and exploitation of animals for entertainment so it is crucial that their backing has been removed from an industry mired in serious animal abuse.”

Deputy Director of the Can Gio Biosphere Reserve, Le Van Sinh explained the reasoning behind the closure of the monkey circus: “We received feedback from Animals Asia and the public against the use of wild animals and came to realize that it is both unnecessary and inhumane to treat animals this way … We asked the Ho Chi Minh City’s People Committee and the city’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to stop the circus. The city government recognized the negative impact on the city’s tourism and decided to have the circus closed down.”

Although this is certainly great news and a great example of the power of activism, it should be noted that the macaques used in the circus are owned by a third party that will more than likely continue to use the captive primates at other tourist attractions. This is a step in the right direction, but we need to continue to fight to ensure that no animals are forced into similar situations worldwide.

To learn more about the issues at hand and how you can get involved in ending the use of animals for “entertainment,” visit the Animals Asia website here.


Image Source: Pixabay