5 Reasons That Petting Zoos Are Being Cancelled Across the Country

Posted by 2 years ago | Permalink | Comments (18)

Goat and child at petting zoo

Recently, we received the welcome news that another petting zoo – this time, at the University of East London – has been cancelled because of ethical concerns after we wrote to the organisers. Here’s a rundown of exactly what’s wrong with these “mobile farms”:

  1. They’re highly stressful for animals.
    Animals – and especially timid prey animals such as rabbits and chinchillas – generally don’t like being handled all the time. At petting zoos, they have no choice about the matter. And because these events are often held in public places, crowds and noise only add to the animals’ discomfort.
  2. Animals often come from breeders like this.
    A recent investigation uncovered the horrific conditions at European breeding facilities where animals are “mass produced” to maximise profits. And the huge numbers of animals churned out by these breeders have led to an animal-homelessness crisis.
  3. Life on the road takes a terrible toll.
    Animals in petting zoos spend most of their time being carted around from one exhibit to another, often in small cages where they can fulfil few if any of their natural needs. This causes suffering and frustration which, over time, can lead to abnormal, neurotic and even self-destructive behaviour.
  4. Petting zoos only want the “cutest” animals.
    That means that animals who get older or become more difficult to handle are often disposed of – that is, abandoned or killed to make room for crowd-pleasing babies.
  5. There are health risks for humans, too.
    Experts indicate that petting zoos are hotbeds of serious pathogens, and they have been linked to outbreaks of diseases such as E coli, with the elderly and young children particularly at risk – which hardly amounts to “family-friendly” entertainment.
  6. Animals aren’t exhibits.
    They’re sensitive individuals, who deserve better than to be treated as props for human entertainment.

If you ever learn about plans for a petting zoo near you, please write to the organisers and ask them to replace it with an event that doesn’t involve exploiting animals, such as a craft workshop or a bouncy castle. Let us know about it, too.


  • Heather Woolley commented on May 3, 2015 at 11:03 am

    I hate any form of Animal exploitation. I do not see any reason animals should be used this way. Empty The Cage’s,,Destroy The Pen’s ,Give Them Their Natural Lives Back!

    • Aileen Cheetham commented on May 9, 2015 at 3:42 pm

      Would you like to be kept hungry so you seek to eat out of kids dirty sweaty hands just to make someone some cash????
      do not take your kids to see caged animals as it is not natural and they need to see natural only.

      • N.I commented on February 23, 2016 at 8:32 pm

        i think there a class job and there should be more after all they are animals not humans-who gives a crap

  • jean inwood commented on May 3, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    Stop this cruel pass time .

  • Genevieve Roberton commented on May 4, 2015 at 11:53 am

    These pet zoos should be banned permanently because of the stress caused to the animals. People would not put humans through that why do this to animals. This is Britain not the middle east we are supposed to be humanitarian .stop this kind of things permanently.

    • Aileen Cheetham commented on May 9, 2015 at 3:42 pm


  • Ella commented on May 5, 2015 at 11:35 am

    Petting zoo,s sould have never been a thing

  • Christine commented on May 9, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    When are humans ever going to stop using animals for our entertainment.. We should have the intelligence to entertain ourselves without exploiting animals.

  • Ann Panks commented on May 9, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    This is just torment for these poor animals.

  • Sarah commented on May 9, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    …as always its about entertainment for
    people, respect for the animals doesn’t come into it/or what they are going through! No they shouldn’t open any more of these places…..

  • Renate commented on May 9, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    What are pettingzoos, the same as animalfarm ? Where the animals and people walk free together and where you can learn about the farm and sometimes can feed the animals ?

  • John Watling commented on May 9, 2015 at 3:59 pm

    There must be a way for children to have contact with animals, I can see why people say petting zoos are not a good thing but if young people never get close to animals how are they going to understand how important they are.

    • jii commented on May 13, 2015 at 5:04 pm

      Yeah, that’s why people with allergies etc don’t give a shit about animals..?!
      So what am I doing here….

    • Poppy commented on May 15, 2015 at 6:18 pm

      I agree with you,John☺️

  • Mr Greer Hart, senior commented on May 9, 2015 at 10:48 pm

    People are gullible and poorly informed on many issues. With petting zoos, we have to watch another “job creation” scheme is allowed by our politicians, without their considering the implications of such an activity becoming fast growing, and thereby becoming out of control with regard to animal welfare. No human would like being fondled or being subjected to constant attention, and the same goes for animals. Circuses and certain zoos are bad enough, so another potential animal abuse “industry” should be nipped in the bud NOW!

  • Barbara Penman commented on May 19, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    Visiting Pets At Home last week, was quite concerned in the way the staff were handling guinea pigs and rabbits. Staff were sat on the floor surrounded by very young children and passing these small frightened animals from one child to another. It is great that children are taught how to handle and look after them, but the animals did seem a little stressed especially when the children laughed or squealed.

  • darren commented on August 12, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    You darlings need to calm down.

    You are making it sound like all Petting Zoos are set up for animal abuse. Most Petting Zoos barely run a profit and most petting zoos are run by animal lovers.

    Perhaps y’all need to get over yourselves

    • Peter commented on December 15, 2015 at 10:20 am

      People who run animal encounters do it for a living,most animals are kept in unsuitable enclosures,many are overstocked with a variety of animals so to have a selection.They try to defend their business as education,biggest load of rubbish i have ever heard,or try and justify their trade as needing to fund animals rescued,these people are a disgrace to animal keepers.

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