Amsterdam Zoo Should Become ‘Cultural Park For All,’ Animals Party Suggests

Swapping cages for culture can help children learn about animals in their natural habitats


2 Minutes Read

An elephant held captive at Artis Zoo in Amsterdam The Animals Party wants to turn Amsterdam's zoo into a cultural park - Media Credit: Linda Kennedy / Alamy Stock Photo

Amsterdam’s zoo could be turned into a “cultural park for all” if a policy proposal from the Animals Party becomes law.

The Partij voor de Dieren (Animals Party) has suggested that swapping cages in the Artis for an open, green space. Amsterdam’s zoo has kept animals captive since 1838.

Head of the Animals Party, Anke Bakker, said in a statement: “The new Artis will be a beautiful city park that it is accessible to everyone.”

Swap zoo for cultural park

Entrance to Artis Zoo, Amsterdam
Ger Bosma / Alamy Stock Photo The Artis Zoo currently keeps animals locked up

Amsterdam’s zoo keeps animals including giraffes, flamingos, and lions locked up for paying visitors to see. As city property, the zoo receives €4.3 million (USD $4.6 million) a year in municipal subsidies.

Zoos make money by keeping animals locked in cages, and they are hugely controversial among animal rights groups. Campaigners have long campaigned for an end to keeping animals in captivity.

Instead, the Animals Party proposes a “cultural park,” which would include education about nature and treasure hunts for children for “virtual predators.”

Party ask Amsterdam to consider animals

The Dutch Animals Party has a “planet-wide focus.” The party “does not put the short-term interests of man above all, but instead the entire planet and all her inhabitants.”

Earlier this month, Amsterdam became the first capital city in the European Union to endorse the Plant Based Treaty.

By signing its commitment to the plant-based transition, Amsterdam joined the likes of Edinburgh and Los Angeles in pledging to tackle the climate crisis.

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