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Home / CAS has a new director: Maite van Gerwen

CAS has a new director: Maite van Gerwen


At the end of November, Marius Kolff stepped down as director of the CAS International to enjoy his well-deserved retirement. For almost 17 years, he was director of CAS and devoted his heart and soul to the bulls, cows, horses, greyhounds and all other animals suffering under the guise of cultural events. He has been of great significance for all these animals and the international network of organisations fighting against bullfighting. I am honoured to succeed Marius as the new director and president of CAS and I hereby introduce myself to you.

© CAS International

Board member

For over 6 years, I have been closely involved with CAS as a volunteer board member. So I have been getting to know what a great job CAS does for quite some time. For as long as I can remember, I have had a passion for animals and their welfare, and have struggled with the many injustices done to animals. As a child, I came into contact with Spain a lot, as my parents both studied Spanish. With us, Spanish television was regularly on, but it would turn off immediately when a bullfight was shown. Even now, we still have a lot to do with Spain as a family, partly because my sister has lived there for over 10 years. So I visit the country regularly and love it very much. But obviously not bullfighting and other related activities.

Fortunately, most Spaniards no longer like that either. Over 70% are now really against bullfighting and want it banned. In my view, it is only a matter of a few years until it is actually banned there. In other bullfighting countries, including Mexico, it is expected to happen sooner.

Running of the bulls in Pamplona

In September 2018, I ran 12 km for the bulls used in festivals such as the Pamplona Bull Run. People could sponsor me during the running competition ‘Bunniks Mooiste’: for every euro I could run 10 metres (10 euros = 100 metres). In the end, I collected 1215 euros!

© Maite van Gerwen

Because I have always been so committed to animals, I studied animal science at Wageningen University from 2006 to 2012. Before joining CAS, I worked at the Dutch Party for the Animals, The Dutch Animal Protection Society and the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Utrecht. Besides CAS, I have my own consultancy in the field of animal welfare.

My goal is and remains: to make the world a little nicer for animals. I am very happy that I can now do this at CAS and will work full of energy to improve the lives of the many bulls, cows, horses, hunting dogs and other animals that suffer under cultural customs and traditions. Because: freedom of culture stops where animal suffering begins.

I sincerely hope that you will join me and my colleagues in continuing unabated in this fight that we will eventually win. May we continue to count on you? Thank you very much in advance, also on behalf of the bulls, cows, horses, hounds and other animals!

Maite van Gerwen,
Director CAS