Success! Cambridge Petting Zoo Plans Cancelled

Posted by 2 years ago | Permalink | Comments (7)

Chinchilla in house© Djurrättsalliansen
Animals aren’t exhibits, so we breathed a sigh of relief when we found out that the Grafton Centre in Cambridge cancelled plans to hold a petting zoo over the Easter holidays.

After receiving a letter from us pointing out that petting zoos contribute to a cruel cycle of breeding, abandonment and killing, the Grafton management e-mailed back confirming that “we are no longer able to safeguard the welfare of animals, staff or our customers taking part in our Easter petting zoo. As a result we have taken the decision to cancel the event”.

This is great news for animals and children. The meerkats, chinchillas and rabbits who would have been on display naturally shy away from being touched and often become extremely stressed when they are surrounded by crowds of humans. Exhibitors take young animals on the road and, if they survive the stress of transport and handling, typically dispose of them when they become more difficult to handle, replacing them with new “cuter” animals.

Instead of participating in the exploitation of animals, children instead had the chance to take part in a free Easter craft workshop at the Grafton – an activity that encourages creativity and carries no risk of exposure to potentially serious disease. Experts indicate that petting zoos are hotbeds of serious pathogens, including E coli and salmonella bacteria.

Thank you to everyone who spoke out against the Grafton’s plans, including all the local vegan activists who contacted the centre. The shopping centre’s decision should set a good example for anyone else considering featuring a petting zoo.

If you ever learn of plans to host a petting zoo in your local area, please let us know and also contact the organisers asking them to reconsider their plans.



  • Kaya commented on April 3, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    Hi PETA – do you not think it’s more fair to mention the campaigners in the area who worked to get this cancelled? There was a community campaign running which involved close contact with the shopping centre, a call-out for the public to respond, and a social media campaign. It’s not really fair to suggest that your letter led to the cancellation of the event. We all worked extremely hard on this locally.

    • Dan commented on April 13, 2015 at 2:16 pm

      Hi Kaya, we are of course grateful to all local campaigners who worked on this issue and as such we thanked the local activists who campaigned on this issue in our blog post above, celebrating the outcome. Working at a local level is a great way to force change. Thanks again for your hard work on this subject.

      • karen Bradbury commented on June 4, 2015 at 11:06 am

        Sounds to me like PETA had very little to do with this event being cancelled. The words jumping and bandwagon spring to mind. Stop taking credit for other peoples hard work, PETA gets enough recognition for the campaigns they do iitiate.

      • Dan commented on June 5, 2015 at 12:16 pm

        Sorry you feel that way Karen. I can assure you that our campaigner worked hard on this issue, and while there were others also working on it, we’re still going celebrate the victory.

  • Lisa Thompson commented on April 3, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    That’s fantastic news, keep up the great work.

  • Monica McDonald commented on April 11, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    I love animals. Gods gift to humanity. Xx

  • People Eating Tasty Animals commented on April 14, 2015 at 10:40 pm

    To P.E.T.A,
    I can see the meaning in this but shouldn’t we stop human petting zoos before animal ones?

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