ADVOCACY

Discontinue petting zoos.

Photo by George Potter on UnsplashPetting zoos are sold as fun learning experiences for children, but instead are artificial environments designed simply for entertainment that are bad for animals and people. Animals used in entertainment suffer from abuse and neglect, deprived of the care they require to meet their social, behavioral and physical needs.  They are kept in unnatural housing, not fed a proper diet, and suffer from fear, stress and boredom during transport and living in captivity and overcrowded conditions. We are opposed to petting zoos.

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There are no required standards nor regulatory oversight for petting zoos. Basic animal welfare standards are not followed related to veterinary care, diet, housing, bedding and expression of natural behaviors.  Animals at petting zoos are often not properly protected from the elements, forced to stand all day long in the sun during the hot summer months without access to shade or adequate water.

Frequently petting zoos breed or buy baby animals so there is always an ample stock of adorable babies to entertain customers, but those young animals are usually taken from their mothers too soon, are not provided with proper care and socialization, and must endure the stress of being transported from place to place.  Like the adult animals, they have no refuge from the stresses of constant human interaction.

Petting zoos are also known to be a health risk to humans, especially children, as a common source of zoonotic disease spread, including dangerous infections caused by exposure to E. Coli.