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Zoos - Alternatives to the zoo

Animals affected

Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians, Mammals






Society has evolved and these days a good many people have expressed their rejection of zoos prompting a debate on whether these centres should exist or not, and what the appropriate model of a zoo should be in the 21st century.

Nowadays there is a multitude of alternative ways of getting close to nature. People have the chance to travel, climb mountains, go to the woods, visit rescue centres, go sailing or scuba diving. Even without moving it is possible to learn about the different animal species, with books, documentaries and on the internet, constantly available anywhere anytime.

At FAADA we have a whole webpage of resources about responsible tourism for those who want to get closer to nature and enjoy it in a sustainable and ethical way (www.turismo-responsable.com). In Spain these centres can be visited as an alternative to the zoo.

Zoos have the chance to invest their resources in new technologies in order to recreate natural habitats, ecosystems, animal populations (in 3D for example) and tell their visitors everything about the customs, behaviour, feeding, etc. of any species. It is not necessary to keep wild animals in captivity for life to transmit knowledge about them.

Our action

At the state level

Through InfoZOOS a coalition made up of the organisations ANDA, BORN FREE and FAADA, created to bring about effective change in the way wild animals are managed and treated in zoos.

  • We lobby the authorities so that the legislation is applied to zoos and those that don’t comply are given penalties or they are closed down.
  • We sue the centres which break the law.
  • We carry out inspections in zoos and write the corresponding reports for the authorities and the centres themselves.
  • We share information regarding the suffering of wild animals living in captivity, especially zoos.

What can you do?

  • Tell your family and friends, especially children, about the problems animals in zoos have.
  • Visit a wildlife recovery centre. That is where animals that have been removed from situations of abuse or abandonment are kept. They will help you to understand the problem areas associated with keeping animals in captivity. If you have children you could take them to see educational documentaries, the theatre, a walk along the beach, get to know the fauna that lives in the woods and mountains, to dog and cat homes, or to help out at an animal sanctuary. There are many alternatives to zoos. 
  • Find out about Law 31/2003, 27-10, on conservation of wild fauna in zoos and let us know of any anomaly you may observe in these centres, taking photos or videos when possible.


Other sources



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