Response to Get To Know Animals (GTKA) statement

Mark Dawes, 09 June 2019, Tags:

We would support the taking in of companion animals that are being mistreated and then found a loving home. And we would also agree that is important to love and respect animals and the environment.

However, it is the mini petting zoo we object to, as it does not respect animals and the environment. Exploiting animals in this way is plain wrong. When in schools, this would set a bad example to children as they would see animals as toys to play with rather than learning genuine respect for animals. It would also encourage children to seek these animals as pets which would lead to more of the cruel exotic animal trade. Far better for children to see wildlife television programmes which show animals in the wild where they should be. We also have lovely forests on our doorstep where we can see animals in their natural habitat and enjoy the natural world.

There is some confusion in the statement, as GTKA say the animals are rescued, but then go on to say all the animals were born and bred in the UK as domestic animals. Breeding exotic animals anywhere to be pets or mini zoo exhibits is wrong and again will lead to more of the exotic animal trade. The exotic pet trade is big business – a multibillion-dollar global industry - and is the main driver of the trade of live animals. To fuel the growing market for exotic pets, thousands of animals are taken from the wild and bred in captivity every day, and these animals suffer at every stage of the supply chain. 

It may be the owners of GTKA are sincere in their love for animals but their actions and business are sadly misguided. A mini petting zoo is no place for any animal, however well intentioned, and will lead to more animal suffering, not less. People who love animals should be working together to stop the appalling exotic animal trade - and rescued exotic animals should be put in sanctuaries to give them the best life possible, not carted around as exhibits to be ‘petted’ by strangers.

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