University of Stirling Cancels Plans for Petting Zoo!
When we found out that the University of Stirling’s student union had hatched a misguided plan to host a petting zoo on campus, we sprang into action to give the union officers the full story about petting zoos – which contribute to a cruel cycle of breeding, abandonment and killing.
We were extremely relieved to get this e-mail response back from the vice president of education and engagement:
“Stirling Students’ Union is keen to hold events which promote mental, physical, sexual and social health but not at the expense of the health of animals. After receiving an e-mail from PETA, we discussed it among the sabbatical officers and realised that a petting zoo on campus wouldn’t be a good idea after all”.
Petting zoos are a bad bet for students and for animals. Travel, confinement to small cages and rough handling cause animals intense stress. Exhibitors take young animals on the road and, if they survive the ordeal, typically dispose of them when they become older and more difficult to handle.
At the same time, experts indicate that petting zoos are hotbeds of serious pathogens, including E coli and salmonella, which increase the risk of illness among human visitors.
It’s good news that University of Stirling students will now get to unwind in ways that don’t harm animals or endanger their health. Last year, we also persuaded the University of Leeds to cancel a petting zoo and encouraged students to speak out (and let us know, too) if their university has any similar plans.