Opening Berlin shop selling monkeys and tigers turns out to be PR stunt

This morning, a team from AAP (Animal Advocacy and Protection) stood in front of a Berlin storefront that was to be spectacularly opened. However, the first customers, demonstrators, and media present were not presented with a showroom full of exotic animals. Instead of enclosures full of felines, monkeys and actual lions, we unveiled our confrontational German awareness campaign:

at the push of a button

In recent weeks, Germany was surprised by the announced launch of the controversial online shop WYLD. This new shop concept promised all kinds of exotic animals for people who want something else than a dog or cat. Online and in a trendy pop-up store in Berlin, Germans could buy ring-tailed lemurs, desert foxes, wallabies and even lions at the push of a button. Through Instagram, TikTok, influencers and articles on lifestyle websites, among others, the public was led to believe that all these animals could be bought legally in Germany.

Crystal clear message

Today it becomes clear that the resulting confusion is justified: all animal species on offer can currently be legally kept by private individuals in large parts of Germany. That is exactly what AAP, which has been taking care of exotic animals in need since 1972, wants to demonstrate with this first major German public campaign. AAP’s message is crystal clear: Germany must address the suffering of exotic animals in living rooms with new animal welfare legislation.

Confront Germany

"Our eastern neighbours are lagging far behind and do not seem to be taking steps to improve the fate of exotic animals in circuses and domestic houses even when federal animal welfare laws are reviewed. This campaign raises public awareness that now is the time for action. We cannot, with so many developments within Europe, stand idly by as an influential country like Germany lags behind and abandons exotic animals like this. That's why we decided to confront Germany with this campaign about the bizarre reality, which as we have noticed is causing quite a stir."

Positive list

The advised tool is a positive list for pets, developed by independent experts. Such an instrument has already been chosen by several EU member states as the most effective way to address the risks of keeping unsuitable pets. Not only animal welfare, but also risks to public safety, public health and biodiversity can be reduced with a positive list for pets.

end animal suffering

AAP has contributed to the development of improved animal welfare legislation in numerous EU member states over the past decades. In recent years, for example, with AAP’s help, the performance of wild animals in Dutch and Portuguese circuses came to an end and Spain and France, among others, announced a Positive List for pets. Steps were also taken, together with local partners, in Estonia, Greece and Italy to end animal suffering.

David van Gennep at the campaign reveal in Berlin

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