Press Release Care Petition Oostvaardersplassen 23 March 2018 (see translation below) 


85,000 signatures for the action against animal suffering in the Oostvaardersplassen
Date news fact: 23-03-2018
Source: Apemanagement®

85,000 signatures for action against animal suffering Oostvaardersplassen

International reactions of indignation about the situation in the Oostvaardersplassen (OVP) and support for the petition to politicise sustainable action.

LELYSTAD, 2018 03 23 - Biologist Patrick van Veen published his opinion on social media about the abuses less than two weeks ago and, according to him, there is culpable animal suffering among the large grazers in the Oostvaardersplassen, Flevoland province. This article in English  is intended to draw international attention to this poignant situation of animal suffering. It forms the basis of a petition that has been signed more than 85,000 times and evokes many astonished reactions from all over the world that this is possible in the Netherlands.

Because the OVP is a closed nature reserve, according to Van Veen, the probability of problems, such as explosive population growth, resulting in starvation during the winter, is predictable and the administrator is to blame. In the petition he therefore calls for four core actions:

  • Immediately feeding, under the advice and guidance of independent experts,
  • Full access to the OVP for independent inspections and the press,
  • The drafting of a long-term management plan in order to prevent future animal suffering in the OVP,
  • To determine the potential liability of Minister Carola Schouten of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, the Provincial Government and Staatsbosbeheer and not to exclude further actions if necessary.
With international support through this petition, campaigners and experts will appeal to the authorities and politicians to take action in order to stop further unnecessary animal suffering in the OVP and to arrive at sustainable plans. They will also take action in Brussels to get European support and put extra pressure on the authorities for the OVP.

Key data Oostvaardersplassen:

Approx. 6000 ha of which 2400 suitable for grazing

Number of large grazers according to count of October 2017: 230 heck cattle, 1040-1060 konik horses, 3910-3990 red deer. The population increased in 2017 by an average of 15% compared to 2016.

In February 2018, 1062 animals died, 94% of them due to culling.

Total number of animals that died from December 1,  is 1755, of which 95% by culling.

Source: Staatsbosbeheer report February 2018

This means that 1/3 of the population died this winter, a large part of which died as a result of culling.

Link to petition: