Success! Cambridge Petting Zoo Plans Cancelled

Posted by on April 2, 2015 | Permalink

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.