‘Animal exploitation’? Dutch PETA urges amusement park to remove plastic animals from carousels

Those horses aren't real, PETA. 😬

The Dutch amusement park industry was left speechless when PETA Nederland, the well-known animal rights organisation, urged De Efteling to remove horses and other animals from its carousels.

“It is not of this time to exploit animals for entertainment”, says PETA Nederland spokesperson Janneke Hogervort to the AD.

“Amusement parks don’t mean it that way, but children get the feeling that it’s normal to use animals purely for our pleasure.”

PETA Nederland argues that De Efteling is one of the largest amusement parks in Europe and that they have a big influence on other parks. Even if they just mention that they’re considering changing their carousels, it will bring up an “important discussion”.

Puzzled reactions

Needless to say, people were confused and amused — “I try to find the right words without laughing,” says the President of the National Association of Fairgrounds, Atze J. Lubach-Koers.

“There is no adult with a full mind who thinks this is necessary. Maybe we should tell PETA that the horses are not alive.” You said it. 😅

Translation: “The Efteling has the oldest carousels in the Netherlands, the oldest dates back to 1865. Don’t think we should demolish them.”

Even the Dutch Animal Protection organisation was baffled: “We had to look at the calendar when we read the news about removing horses from merry-go-rounds because apparently April 1 is now in early February,” said spokesperson Niels Kalkman.

It’s all about conversation

PETA Nederland suggested swapping horses, elephants, and giraffes with cars, airplanes, and spaceships, among other things.

De Efteling has said it will “follow” the conversation — but hasn’t confirmed if they’ll actually change anything.

READ MORE | 14 thrilling theme parks in the Netherlands in 2024

Of course, PETA was just looking to stir the pot, and it’s certainly not the first time they’ve done so. Previously, they’ve urged LEGO to get rid of farm sets and asked American food manufacturers to stop making animal crackers. 🦓

“It’s in our style to stimulate this kind of discussion in a slightly provocative way. We don’t mind. The conversation is the most important thing to us,” says Hogervorst.

Do you think theme parks and fairs should get rid of animals in their carousels? Tell us in the comments!

Feature Image:De Efteling
Katrien Nivera 🇵🇭
Katrien Nivera 🇵🇭
Third culture kid Katrien has been working as a writer and editor at DutchReview for over two years, originally moving to the Netherlands as a tween. Equipped with a Bachelor’s in communication and media and a Master’s in political communication, she’s here to stay for her passion for writing, whether it’s current Dutch affairs, the energy market, or universities. Just like the Dutch, Katrien lives by her agenda and enjoys the occasional frietje met mayo — she just wishes she could grow tall, too.


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