In response to concerns from PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), the University of East London has cancelled plans for a Petting Zoo.
In an email to PETA, John Joughin, the Vice-Chancellor of the University, said:
‘Following representations from some members of staff we decided to review the proposed visit, and took the decision to cancel it on the 20th of April, in parallel with the receipt of your letter.’
The decision to ban the Petting Zoo follows in the footsteps of the University of Stirling and Leeds University, who also cancelled the initiative due to animal welfare concerns.
Universities aren’t alone in their anti-petting zoo stance. Three weeks ago, the Grafton shopping centre in Cambridge cancelled plans for a Petting Zoo to visit over the Easter Holidays.
According to PETA, Petting Zoos pose serious health risks; the area around an animal’s cage can be teeming with bacteria. In addition, the charity claim that Petting Zoos promote the mistreatment of animals. Animals are frequently confined in small cages and travel all over the country. Alongside rough handling, this causes intense stress.
As more and more universities stand up against the Petting Zoo trade, do you think that it is time that Southampton does the same?