Japan: Ban Wild Animal Cafes and ‘Petting Bars’

Target: Masaharu Nakagawa, Japanese Minister of the Environment

Goal: Do not allow wild animals to be exploited as a tourist attraction in ‘petting bars.’

Across Japan, a concerning number of ‘petting bars’ have been opening that treat wild animals like pets for the entertainment of tourists. These animal cafes allow tourists to play with animals including hedgehogs, owls, and — most worryingly — otters, who are not domesticated and are not equipped to be living in those conditions.

Otters in particular require a very specific diet and environmental stimulation. These social predators are not meant to live in small enclosures and be exposed to loud noises and human interaction, while also being deprived of socialization with other otters and, in some cases, access to food and water. Additionally, it is likely that as the animals get older and naturally become more aggressive or difficult to manage, the ‘petting bars’ will get rid of them. This is very clearly animal cruelty, and provides fuel for the inhumane, exploitative wildlife trade. Sign below to demand that Japan ban wild animal cafes.


Dear Minister Nakagawa,

The rapid growth of wild animal cafes and ‘petting bars’ in Japan encourages the mistreatment of wild animals and must be stopped. Wild animals such as owls, hedgehogs, and otters are not domesticated pets. Otters especially are social predators who become aggressive as they mature, and have needs that cannot be met when they are kept in isolated cages and forced to behave like pets.

Innocent animals should not be exploited for tourist entertainment and profit. Practices such as this support the wildlife trade, illegal trafficking, poaching, and the exploitation of baby animals as pets for financial gain. I urge you to take a stand against this cruelty and ban animal cafes and ‘petting bars’ in Japan.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Libor Klubal

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  1. Wild Animal Cafes and Petting Bars are extemely cruel to the Animals! Animals were NOT put on this Earth to use anyway you wish! Japan We DEMAND That You Shut Them Down NOW!

  2. This is an cruel &unjust practice! What can be said of folk whom believes it’s OK! To ship horses, which are then subjected to all sorts of abuse .Then are slaughtered in God only knows how and eaten by these same folks..and that’s me saying this in an polite way.
    Yeah,yeah I know the USA slaughters animals in an Inhumane way, I like to believe we are working on ways to stop this barbaric practice..

  3. Alice Knight says:

    Please stop using animals so you can p0rofit off of them.
    These animals belong in the natural habitat. This is just another attempt to satiate and line your pockets with cash. No one person has the right to control, have power over any animal.
    Please stop these cafes from growing and abusing the animals.

  4. The exact reason why we would never visit Japan.

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