Why We Shouldn't Be Promoting Travelling Petting Zoos

Within the past couple of weeks, Lasell College has had two different travelling petting zoos come to campus for various events, including Fresh Check Day and Earth Day. While we’ve all loved seeing the adorable bunnies, baby pigs, and goats, the fact of the matter is that this is not a humane practice. Though it’s an enjoyable experience for us, the animals aren’t always happy and we should be more concerned about their welfare. PETA explains that these travelling petting zoos “subject animals to the stress of transport, alien environments, irregular feeding and watering, mishandling, and crowds of strangers.”


Transporting animals so frequently and in small cages, as well as keeping them in cages for the majority of their lives (aside from when they’re being held or played with at events) isn’t fair and causes lots of stress and anxiety. Imagine the fear they feel as they’re in the bumpy back of a truck in their cages, not knowing what’s going on. Then once they get to their destination they are tossed back and forth between unfamiliar hands all day and crowded by tons of people. They don’t get the space they need and feel extremely overwhelmed by the amount of people around. Additionally, these zoos are not regulated to see whether they’re taking adequate care of their animals. That means we don’t know for sure if they are getting fed enough, have comfortable living spaces, are receiving medical care when needed, or are generally living good lives.


At Fresh Check day there were multiple chicks left in a plastic bucket for the entire time. There was also a chicken, clearly nervous, hiding in the corner of a pen, and the bunnies were trying to squirm out of their tightly wrapped blankets. At Earth Day, there were literally day old piglets running around, who were exposed to hundreds of people several times their size, in their first few hours of life. That is clearly not a situation that seems healthy for the animals, mentally or physically. It turns out that it may not be a healthy situation for us, either. Animals from petting zoos can carry some serious bacteria, including E. Coli and Salmonella.


I am asking that Lasell College doesn’t contribute to this industry or allow for these activities to happen on campus anymore. Our few minutes of enjoyment are not worth the suffering that these animals endure.