11th April 2023

This year’s Zoo Awareness Weekend was a huge success! So many of our wonderful supporters and animal rights groups hit the streets and held demos and information stalls across the UK. As a result, the public was faced with the reality of zoos and aquariums, and their ‘con-servation’ lies were exposed!

Zoo Awareness Weekend falls on Easter Weekend as it is typically the busiest time for these businesses; presenting the perfect opportunity to take action and spread the word of the suffering that animals held captive in these institutions go through. Thank you to everyone who has joined us in the fight for their freedom so far! We could not do anything without your support!

Here are just some of the amazing outreach reports we have received held over Zoo Awareness Weekend 2023: 

London Zoo - A Better World for All Animals

On Friday 7th April, dedicated activists from 'A Better World for Animals' gathered outside London Zoo to hold an outreach event and protest on Zoo Awareness Weekend, in order to show the paying public what really happens behind the walls

Dressed in eye-catching animal face masks and costumes, the London protesters gave out hundreds of leaflets, interacted with the public, and spoke the truth behind zoo industry lies on the microphone so they could alert more people to the suffering of animals. A large number of conversations were had with the public throughout the event, and many were extremely positive. One visitor to the zoo took a Freedom for Animals (FFA) leaflet after exiting, and said they were glad they could take away the information after what they had witnessed inside. Zoos always push forward the narrative of wildlife conservation and species preservation to the public, in an attempt to justify why animals are kept prisoners in their cages. However, this is a baseless claim, and in reality zoos are built for profit and nothing more. Thanks to activists sharing the truth, the public has been made aware of the impact these places have on innocent animals, and hopefully inspired them to visit more compassionate destinations in the future.

Every year during Zoo Awareness Weekend, this dedicated group takes action for animals and share the truth about zoos. We are so grateful to all these inspiring activists putting so much time and effort into exposing the truth. Thank you!

Newcastle - North East Animal Rights (NEAR)

On Saturday 8th April, NEAR participated in Zoo Awareness Weekend again this year, by holding an inspiring information and outreach stall in Newcastle City Centre to raise public awareness.

It was a beautiful, sunny day in Newcastle, and a lot of people were happy to talk to activists and find out more information from the stall. In fact, the public were so receptive to taking zoo leaflets that nearly every single one was handed out during the event! A large number of people also stopped to look at the posters that were displayed on the many different issues FFA highlights across their campaigns, and children were excited and wanted to know more about the eye-catching blow-up animals displayed on the stall. 

We talked to members of the public about zoos, mobile zoos, petting farms and animals in captivity and the misery they face on a daily basis. 

NEAR holds a stall every year for FFA, and we are so grateful for their continued support. Their total dedication to raising public awareness about so many important issues is incredibly inspiring and impactful. Thank you!

Brighton SeaLife - CLOSE SEALIFE

On Saturday 8th April, a number of activists attended a protest organised for Zoo Awareness Day by the animal rights group CLOSE SEALIFE, outside SEALIFE Brighton.

CLOSE SEALIFE regularly holds demos outside of the Brighton aquarium to raise awareness on the suffering animals endure within the watery prison - including Lulu, a green sea turtle who has been incarcerated for over 80 years. The demo brought awareness to her devastating situation in a very emotive way by using animal-free props (as viewed below). 

Lulu has a heartbreaking story that began in the wild. She was stolen from her natural home in 1940 and shipped to the UK to appear in a TV advert. She has been in prison ever since. In the wild she would have travelled hundreds, even thousands of miles, yet in captivity she circles the same restricted space with no hope of escape. CLOSE SEALIFE started a petition to demand her freedom, which can be viewed HERE. 

Thanks to activists' actions on the day, and during all other demos held outside Brighton Sealife, the public have finally been exposed to the truth - that aquariums, just like zoos, are built for profit, and have no impact on wild populations or saving animals. CLOSE SEALIFE hold regular outreach events outside the aquarium, and FFA are so thankful for their dedication, support and drive in the fight for animal freedom. Thank you!

South Lakes Zoo - Lancaster and Morecambe Animal Freedom Collective

Animal activists gathered outside South Lakes Zoo on Easter Sunday 9th April, to highlight the failing conditions animals are forced to endure at the notorious zoo. The event was a huge success, and the group had many positive conversations with the public. There will be more demos outside this zoo in the future, so please look out for updates on FFA social media.

FFA have been campaigning against South Lakes Zoo for many years, after repeated investigations have uncovered serious cases of neglect and suffering present. More can be read on the campaign here.

We also have a live petition to call on the council to revoke the zoo’s license and enforce its closure HERE!

A big shoutout to all the activists who took valued time on their Easter Sunday, to stand up for the animals imprisoned at South Lakes Zoo and inform the public on the truth of what is really happening there. Without your dedication, the animals' stories would not be shared, so your support is invaluable and so appreciated. Thank you! 

Knowsley Safari Park - Merseyside Animal Rights (MAR) 

In conjunction with Freedom For Animals' Zoo Awareness weekend activists in MAR held a peaceful protest outside Knowsley Safari Park on Monday 10th April with leaflets and information posters, to highlight the plight of all animals held in captivity and their insistence on making animals perform for entertainment in their bird of prey and sea lion displays

Even with two activists present and the terrible weather to contend with, MAR made a huge impact on the day, and handed out hundreds of leaflets! A member of the public driving past on the dual carriageway even made the effort to turn back so she could share her support for the action, and was quoted as saying “love the information being shared. Animals don’t belong in small human made enclosures!". She has since messaged MAR to get involved with future demos, which is a huge success! 

That is why these impactful events are so important, as exposing the truth is so crucial in the fight for animal freedom. FFA is so grateful to MAR for their continued support on Zoo Awareness Day and throughout the year. Their help is so valued, and their drive inspiring. Thank you!

Zoos in the UK hold tens of thousands of animals captive. Many are suffering in silence, their misery unseen despite the thousands of people who peer in at them everyday. Zoos which exploit animals can never be ethical. 

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you to everyone who got involved in this year’s Zoo Awareness Weekend! You really have helped to make 2023 a huge success for animals!

For any of our supporters who are thinking of getting involved in future demonstrations and outreach days, please let us know so that we can help link you up with a local group in your area!

And, of course, if you can’t get out and about there are many other ways you can help animals:

Keep an eye on our Latest Campaigns page for future events and actions

You can donate to help fuel to the fight for an end to the captivity of animals

Become a Freedom Champion and set up a monthly gift

Hold future demos and protests by ordering free campaign materials

- 11th April 2023