The 14 Biggest Victories For Animals In 2016

Andrea A.

2016 proved it once again: all over the world, animal rights defenders are doing more and more to have their voices heard. Despite the immensity of the task that remains to be accomplished, things are advancing, step by step. Animal rights has become a regular cultural discussion everywhere.Let's look back on the 14 biggest cases which advanced the cause of animals during the last 12 months.

1. One of the largest dog meat markets in the world is closing its doors

Source: Reuters/Kim Kyung Hoon

In South Korea, the Moran Market, one of the largest dog meat markets in the world, will stop the slaughter and sale of dogs. The mayor of Seongnam, South Korea where the market is situated, southwest of Seoul, announced the news on December 13. Every year, since the 1960s, more than 80,000 dogs are sold, dead or alive.Read More.

2. Spain prohibits the cruel "Toro de la Vega" festival 


Source: Pedro Armestre/AFP/Getty

Several organizations have been demanding it for years. Last May, the regional government of Castille-et-Leon, Spain, finally announced the end of the annual "Toro de la Vega" festival during which a young bull is hunted by men on foot or on horse before killing him with a lance. To this day, hundreds of Spanish towns have prohibited this horrible spectacle.Read More.

3. The United States announces the end of the brutal slaughter of male chicks

Source: Animal Equality

On June 9, after pressure from The Humane League, egg producers in the United States announced the end of the cruel practice of culling of male chicks. However, we have to wait until 2020 for the controversial technique to disappear completely."Consumers should be aware that this is what they are paying for when they buy eggs, regardless of whether they are from caged or free range hens," explains the spokesman for the British organization,Animal Aid.Read More.

4. The first political party to defend animal rights was created in France 

The Animalist Party, a newly formed political party launched last November, whose mission is "to bring attention to animal causes in politics." Among the measures laid out in theirambitious program, most notable are the creation of a minister of animal protection. the abolition of bullfighting, prohibition of culling of male chicks and euthanasia of "convenience" in shelters, and the end of animal circuses.

5. Iran bans circuses with wild animals 


Source: @AFP/Valery Hache

Starting in March 20, 2016, circuses with wild animals have been banned in Iran. It is the 23rd country to take this direction, along with Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, India, and Mexico. Read the complete list here.

6. The Netherlands announces their desire to put an end to all experimentation on animals 

Source: SoCurious

It's a first in the world. Last September, the government announced their desire to become the first country in the world to ban all forms of experimentation on animals. Food, pesticides, vaccines... All products traditionally tested on animals will follow new protocols for new alternative tests.To aid them in their transition, authorities in the Netherlands called on several animal protection organizations.Read More.

7. The United States is taking steps towards ending animal testing for chemical products 

Source: WeAnimals

On June 22, the President of the United States, Barack Obama, signed a law which will limit and reduce considerable the amount of chemical testing on animals. The President will also revise a 40-year-old treaty called The Toxic Substances Control, which regulated until recently the usage of chemical substances.The American Congress also confirmed their desire to develop alternative methods for testing chemicals other than animals.Read More.

8. Laos prohibits cruel bear bile farms and raising tigers 


Source: 30 Millions d’Amis

During a large conference about endangered species of CITES (Convention on International Trade on Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) which took place in Johannesburg last September, the representatives of the Democratic Republic of Laos announced their wishes to end the cruel bear bile farms and the raising of tigers.Read More.

9. Armani bans fur from its collection 

Source: Pierre Verdy/AFP & Vegactu

Last March, the luxury giant, Armani, announced that their future collections would no longer contain animal fur. A decision taken afternegotiationswithHumane Society Internationaland the Fur Free Alliance (a group of 40 animal protection organizations).Read More.

10. A large zoo in Buenos Aires will liberate all of its animals

Source: Enrique Marcarian/Reuters

In June, Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, announced the closure of their zoo and the transfer of their 2500 animals to reserves or sanctuaries. For a long time, organizations criticized the conditions of animal detention, forced to live in antiquated facilities in the center of the city, at the intersection of two busy streets."Life in captivity is degrading for the animals," the mayor of the city notably declared.Read More.

11. TripAdvisor, the online tourism giant, boycotts cruel animal attractions 


Source: SethetLise

Riding on the backs of elephants, swimming with dolphins, meeting tigers... Last October, TripAdvisor, the largest tourism site in the world, announced that it would no longer sell tickets to attractions that use wild animals.Read More.

12. Argentina bans greyhound racing 

Source: AmazingGreys

Argentina supported the fight against animal cruelty by prohibiting greyhound racing. In this cruel industry, the animals are often eliminated as soon as they're judged to no longer be useful for racing. In the United States, the movement is in the works. Last May, Arizona became the 40th U.S. state to ban this "sport."

 13.  California prohibits Orca spectacles 

Source: True Activist

On September 13, the Governor of California, Jerry Brown, signed the "Orca Protection and Safety Act." A law which formally prohibits the reproduction of orcas in captivity and bans their use for entertainment purposes. The document will be enforced starting in 2017, after years of controversy around the captivity of orcas used by aquatic parks for their spectacles.Read More.

14.  SeaWorld will no longer breed orcas for entertainment 

Source: True Activist

The American aquatic park, SeaWorld, announced on March 17 that it had come to an agreement with the animal protection organization, Humane Society of the United States(HSUS), and it would end its program of captive orca breeding. The killer whales currently detained in the 12 parks run by the company will be the last generation of spectacle orcas.Read More.