Achievements from recent activities

FY2021 Achievements

  • Hotel Matsumotoro, Hotel Senkei, and the Cabinet Office pledged to transition to use only cage-free eggs. As of March 2022, 161 organizations and companies have promised to adopt the cage free policy
  • The largest pig farmer in Japan decided to discontinue the use of gestation crates. Other farmers also agreed to implement cameras to monitor potential abuse and drinking facilities for animals
  • Multiple companies with whom the Animal Right Center had discourses outlined new purchase policies in light of animal welfare
  • Per a request by the Aquatic Animal Alliance in which the Animal Right Center participate, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) included aquatic animals for their areas of animal welfare concern in their policy statements
  • The import of fur products decreased by 65% compared to the previous year. It also marks a 98% reduction from 2006, which hit the highest number for import of fur products
  • 6 Japanese brands and 3 foreign brands pledged to work towards fur free
  • The import of foie gras decreased by 44% compared to 2020
  • We led the Shrimp Lives Matter campaign nationwide 
  • No more animal sacrifice for beauty campaign led to a success to Hoyu’s discontinuation of animal testing for their cosmetic products
  • Many media outlets, including TV shows, covered animal welfare issues 
  • We established nationwide volunteer network as part of Home de Action (Ouchi de Action) and Shop de Action (Omise de Action)during the COVID-19 pandemic 
  • We reported illegal cockfiting in Chiba prefecture to police, which led to rescuing chickens

FY2020 Achievements

  • Obtained cage-free commitments from companies like Mizunoya, Innovation Design, IMU Hotel Kyoto, Soleil du printemps, Burger King, reaching a total of 100 cage-free commitments in Japan in February 2021.
  • With information provided by ARCJ, the Ministry of the Environment made a Diet response regarding the prevention of cruelty to livestock animals, and was led to issue a notification.
  • Thanks to the growing awareness about animal welfare, the Ministry of the Environment replied that battery cages are not recommended from the perspective of animal welfare.
  • Primaham announced that any newly installed or remodeled facilities in the future will be stall-free.
  • Overturned MAFF’s proposed rearing hygiene management standards that restrict grazing, making it possible to continue grazing.
  • Fur imports fell 55% from the previous year, and 94% down from the peak in 2006.
  • Five overseas brands and two overseas brands have declared fur-free, and Canada Goose has declared that it will not procure any new fur.
  • Foie gras imports decreased by 65.8% in 2020 compared to 2019.
  • #50DAYS of Mei born a broiler campaign exposed the actual breeding conditions of chickens for meat (broilers).  Broiler Mei’s 50DAYS short film won the Tokyo Video Festival 2021 Award.
  • Held discussions and lobbied for improvements at poultry processing plants, and one company is expected to improve.
  • Animal welfare was picked up by many media outlets.
  • By proposing volunteer actions that can be taken even in the midst of COVID-19, such as action@home and action@store, we were able to build a nationwide network of volunteers who contribute to various results.

FY2019 Achievements

  • Hilton, Best Western, Ricco Gelato, Horizon Farms, and Tabinoyado Saikawa (ryokan) pledged to go cage-free in Japan.
  • Won the first stall-free declaration in Japan, again confirming that a major meat company will shift from sow stalls, although the deadline is not set.
  • Major meat companies have begun to work on the development of plant-based protein, and the society has changed drastically toward decreasing animal-based foods.
  • Conducted a supermarket survey, revealing that the fraction handling cage-free eggs increased from 22% in 2015 to 51%. Aeon has announced that it will have its private brand cage-free eggs in all stores by 2022, and has already started selling them.
  • Fur imports have decreased 89% compared to the peak in 2006.
  • 13 companies in Japan including MIKI HOUSE, and overseas brands including Prada have become fur free.  In addition, although not announcing fur free, several apparel companies have stopped using real fur.
  • Foie gras imports have decreased 33% in 2019 compared to 2018.
  • Rethink Milk campaign became a hot topic, and we were able to share the animal welfare issues of milk with many people.
  • Greatly advanced the grasp of the current state of livestock, which is the most important.  Learned about many farms and slaughterhouses.
  • A bipartisan parliamentary federation was established to consider animal welfare.
  • Many media outlets have covered animal welfare, veganism, and other cases of individual animal cruelty.
  • The Act on Welfare and Management of Animals was enacted, the strengthening of cooperation with local governments regarding livestock animals was added, and our recommendations were incorporated in many other points.
  • The welfare of the annual festival at Fujisaki Hachimangu shrine was improved.

FY2018 Achievements

  • Starbucks, Marriott International, Four Seasons Hotels, SaladStop, and Unilever have committed to go cage-free in Japan.
  • Regarding anti-fur work, domestic brands SANYO SHOKAIm Shimamura, Sanko Shoji, and Nafco, and overseas brands Chanel, Gaultier, COACH, Burberry, etc have gone fur-free.  Prada has also declared a reduction of fur based on the campaign.
  • Due to the Cruelty Free Beauty campaign by 3 organizations including ARC, the Pias Corporation has declared abolition of animal testing for cosmetics and abolished during 2018.
  • For the most crucial topic of animal agriculture, the understanding of the current status has greatly advanced.  Thanks largely to multiple people whistle-blowing the actual situation, we were able to understand about many farms and slaughterhouses (including bird processing plants).
  • We raised issues to the national legislators about the importance of animal welfare for the Tokyo Olympics, the need for promotion of animal welfare by the country, animal welfare during slaughter and transport, and promotion of guidance on the Animal Welfare Management Act by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Questions were raised at the committees of the House of Councilors and the House of Representatives by congressmen Ogawa Katsuya and Hakushika Akihiro, and House Representative Horikoshi Keiji.
  • Many media reports on animal welfare, veganism, and other individual animal abuse cases.
  • On the issue of prolonged abandonment of waste chickens, which the ARC called to attention and urged improvement, three notices were made (by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, and the Ministry of the Environment) and investigations were conducted by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. This was the first time that the country moved actively regarding the welfare of farm animals.
  • Ten Olympic medalists pointed out about animal welfare of livestock products for the Tokyo Olympics. Launched “Legacy For Animals” campaign with the medalists, ARC, and THL Japan.
  • Produced and started distributing a Japanese-language publication on animal welfare and animal rights in Japan’s farm animals, whose information had not been available in an organized manner before.
  • Rescued multiple chickens.

FY2017 Achievements

  • It’s been 30 years since the Animal Rights Center was established. We held a party for the 30th anniversary to celebrate the history, participated by 100 people.
  • Regarding anti-fur campaign, Gucci and CF Corporation made fur-free declarations as part of the Fur Free Alliance. Following this declaration, Furla and Versace made fur-free declarations.  Even in Japan, Baroque Limited Japan responded to ARC to go fur-free domestically.
    Various media covered fur, including fashion magazine WWD and NHK, interviewing ARC.
    The pet product company Yamahisa has achieved zero real-fur products, and Earth Pet has declared discontinuation of sale of real-fur products following ARC’s request.
  • Regarding the revision of the Animal Welfare and Management Act, we have been working intensively in partnership with other organizations. We worked or discussed with about 100 members of the Diet, collected over 101,000 petition signatures in 10 months, had about 100 people attend the seminar in September in a full house at the Lower House of Representatives Multipurpose Meeting Room, and had 44 members of parliament including proxy and about 100 citizens attend a party assembly in March.
  • Regarding animal agriculture and environment-related work, we have deepened the understanding of current situations in animal agriculture, which is the most important. Largely thanks to multiple whistle blowers about the actual situation, we were able to gain knowledge about many farms and slaughterhouses (including chicken slaughterhouses).
    Awareness surveys have revealed that, compared to 2 years ago, the awareness improved by 4% about battery cages, which is where we are focusing. The awareness about gestation crates has improved by 1.8%.  When the the response “I have heard of it” is included, the awareness of battery cages improved by 8.5%, and of gestation crates by 5.7%.
    For slaughterhouses in Kanagawa prefecture, we started distribution of ARC-produced documents promoting humane treatment.
    To improve the animal welfare for livestock products provided at the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, we started campaigning and working with various parties, and received endorsement from 37 groups domestically and internationally.
    Regarding the need of promotion of animal welfare by the Government, animal welfare at slaughterhouses and during transport, and guidance on the Animal Welfare Management Act by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, we raised the issues to the members of the Diet, and Horikoshi Hirohito of the House of Representatives made inquiries at the budget subcommittee meeting.
    Regarding the issue of prolonged abandonment of egg-laying hens which has occurred in chicken processing plants under investigation, we urged relevant parties for improvement based on the investigation results.  As a result, notices to urge improvements were issued by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the Ministry of Environment, and the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.
    Nestlé and Compass Group have announced limiting their eggs to cage-free by 2025 in Japan.
    We held an animal welfare study group within the Democratic Party.
    At the Miyagi Prefectural Assembly, the Diet member Sakai Tsuneharu mentioned farm animal welfare issues.
    Eggs and animal welfare were featured numerous times on TV, newspapers, magazines, and web media.
  • Regarding campaigns against animal experimentation, we worked on “Cruelty Free Beauty” with the Yakult headquarters to discontinue animal experimentation for their food and cosmetic products, resulting in abolition.

FY2016 Achievements

  • Fur imports in 2016 have decreased by 352,551 animals equivalent compared to 2015.
  • Fashion industry paper WWD reported on the fur-free trend, with coverage including ARC activities.
  • The retailer Konan announced in May 2016 that they would honor requests not to sell cat toys using fur.
  • The last Japanese mink farm we were trying to have closed since 2011 finally closed down in November 2016.
  • We launched the campaign FUR FREE ASIA in December in collaboration with 14 organizations in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea, raising awareness of the cruelty of the fur industry in East Asia.
  • In June, the Consumer Affairs Agency released their report “Ethical Consumerism Research”. As a result of ARC lobbying to encourage the Agency to add an animal welfare section in their research, a section was added in their final report.
  • We invited Rob Harrison (Ethical Consumer Association) from England, and a number of experts, to the Animals in Ethical Consumerism Symposium, attended by 250 people, on ethical consumption and animal welfare.
  • We now grasp more about how farm animals are treated inside both factory farms and slaughterhouses (including poultry processing plants) through a number of informants.
  • Imports of foie gras decreased by 40%, sparing 56,999 birds in 2016 compared to 2015.
  • ARC conducted slaughterhouse research and found violent treatment of birds during transport and other key problems requiring attention. As a result, ARC succeeded in convincing 4 slaughterhouses to improve their treatment of animals and attend to the other problems.
  • Regarding the need to promote animal welfare, a member of the Diet, Katsuya Ogawa, raised animal welfare issues, such as drinking water being freely accessible to animals at slaughterhouses, to the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries committee.
  • We rescued 11 chickens from battery cages and found homes for 3.
  • We were able to cooperate with the police and improve the situation in regards to a poultry firm culling chickens by means of incineration. Complaints continue to be shared nationwide through industry groups and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
  • ARC joined an international campaign on the world’s largest hotel chain, InterContinental, leading to the declaration of using only cage-free eggs including in Japan.
  • Regarding animal exhibitions, we ensured that elephants are no longer placed at Obihiro Zoo, Kofu City Yuki Park Zoo, and Kiryugaoka Zoo.
  • In response to public complaints to Showa Park and the city council, measures were taken over a growing number of flies (sashibae) in deer cages and the rearing area has been enlarged. The park has also separated birds (budgerigars) according to gender and has enriched the life of monkeys.
  • Thanks to petitions and our persistence, an annual event, the Pig Rodeo, in Seiyo city, Ehime Prefecture, will no longer be held from 2017.
  • Regarding animal experimentation, ARC’s Cruelty Free Beauty project has continued to abolish animal experimentation in the cosmetics industry. One of the big successes was with Fujifilm, who agreed to announce their decision to end animal experimentation for their cosmetic products and raw materials.

FY2015 Achievements

  • Regarding anti-fur work, fur imports decreased significantly in 2015, by 864,884 lives equivalent in fur clothing items compared to 2014, and by 275,090 lives equivalent in fur materials (raw materials). It decreased by 75% compared to 2005 when the campaign was launched.
  • Furthermore, several companies, including ASICS and Armani, have abolished the handling of fur.
  • Regarding vegetarianism and health work, we created and ran the information website Hachidory, which promotes ethical and vegan lifestyle.
  • Regarding animal agriculture and environmental work, we interviewed Paul McCartney about Meat Free Monday and held a video release event in October.
  • Foie gras imports decreased by 20% in 2015 compared to 2014, by 61,735 birds.
  • In a slaughterhouse survey, we identified violent treatment during transport and delivery and carried out a petition campaign.  We presented the issues and proposed improvements to each of the slaughterhouses surveyed, and to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, and the Ministry of the Environment.
  • Regarding the necessity of promotion of animal welfare by the Government, we raised the issues to the members of the Diet, and Katsuya Ogawa, a member of the House of Councilors, asked questions at the Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
  • Many celebrities, including Sun Plaza Nakano-kun, Kanatsu Kumi, and Peter Singer, endorsed the “Don’t lock in the mother pig” campaign, which calls for the abolition of pig gestation crates, and launched the website.
  • Prevented the introduction of slaughter methods without stunning, planned by a slaughterhouse in Hokkaido.
  • Regarding exhibition animal work, we appeared twice on TV Asahi’s program and were able to raise the issues about zoos and aquariums to the society.
  • Regarding work opposing animal experimentation, we continued to work on the abolition of animal experimentation for cosmetics via Cruelty Free Beauty, worked on Kao, and also reached a mention regarding procurement of raw materials. In addition, we launched a campaign on Roto Pharmaceutical, leading to an announcement of the abolition.

FY2014 Achievements

  • Regarding animal rights outreach, we redesigned the official website to improve credibility and ease the information access, and strengthening the links to necessary information has enabled us to provide more effective information. The number of users increased by about 1.7 times compared to the previous year, looking at September which has no special events.
  • Regarding animal welfare administration work, we created a new display panel incorporating illustrations, and became able to better communicate how to understand and solve the issues.
  • Regarding vegetarianism and health work, we held a vegetarian cooking workshop as a new initiative.
  • Regarding animal agriculture and environmental work, we made requests to food chains like family restaurants where the handling of foie gras is increasing, resulting in Kappa Sushi announcing the suspension of handling it. In addition, we conducted an awareness survey about farm animal welfare, and found that about 80% of consumers wished for more friendly environments for animals.
  • Regarding anti-fur work, we conducted outreach and research about environmental pollution caused by the fur industry in China. In addition, we conducted a survey about fur, and found that only 1.8% of people prefer to buy furry products.
  • Regarding work opposing animal experimentation, we continued to work on the abolition of animal experimentation for cosmetics via Cruelty Free Beauty, leading to Kosé and POLA announcing the abolition based on our discussion with them.

Achievements up to 2013

  • After the Unzen Fugendake eruption, rescue of affected animals and outreach of its necessity = From 2013 the Ministry of the Environment recommends evacuation with companions.
  • Demonstrations to abolish animal experimentation for cosmetics since 2002 and other efforts, making abolition of animal experimentation for cosmetics an industry trend.
  • Abolition of withdrawal of dogs and cats in shelters to animal experiments ※ Collaboration with animal welfare groups across the country.
  • Abolition of the use of shelter dogs at Juntendo University.
  • Many companies such as UNIQLO, MUJI, Earth Music&Ecology abolish the handling of fur.
  • Achieved zero domestic fur industry.
  • Anti-fur demonstration marches to spread to 13 cities.
  • Japan’s import of furry products fell by 80% since the start of the anti-fur campaign.
  • FamilyMart stops selling foie gras lunch box.
  • Multiple sushi chains stop selling foie gras.
  • Foie gras import fell by about 50% since the start of the anti foie gras outreach.
  • Exclusive interview with Paul McCartney about Meat Free Monday.
  • Abolition of pig rodeos.

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