Mobile zoo ban on Council land
Animals transported in mobile zoos spend significant periods of time confined in tiny, bare containers. Many mobile zoos are displays and public handling of largely exotic animals, such as reptiles, bearded dragons and meerkats. Often these exotic animals are deprived of specialist equipment important for survival and well-being whilst they are on the road. It is impossible for a mobile animal exhibition to provide animals with complex needs with all the facilities they need and prolonged physical contact with the public during "animal encounter experiences" can cause significant stress to the captive animals, which can be detrimental to their health.
The RSPCA has stated about mobile animal exhibitions- "They're wild animals, they're not used to being handled," RSPCA has expressed concerns about "animals being stacked up in inappropriate boxes and enclosures, taken to places for display and for handing round again and again potentially in the same day". RSPCA has warned that some animals may also pose a risk to children from bites and scratches, and even the spread of disease. Reptiles and amphibians, for example, can spread salmonella and other serious diseases to humans, especially through physical contact. The level of risk to vulnerable members of the public from exposure to potential disease outbreaks at mobile animal exhibitions is a serious public health issue.
It is shockingly still legal for pet owners and mobile zoo businesses to purchase animals from abroad which may have been originally caught from the wild, often in low income countries, and the extremely exploitative, under regulated global exotic wildlife industry contributes to widespread ecological destruction, as well as the spread of disease across borders. Illegal releases and accidental escapes of exotic animals into the countryside also pose a significant threat to the UK's native wildlife. There is currently no legal requirement for mobile zoos to contribute to conservation work.
Mobile animal exhibitions are sometimes promoted as "educational". However, with often exotic animals petted and displayed in barren, highly artificial and stressed conditions in mobile zoos, and usually still subjected to daily lives of controlled deprivation when not in the road, this teaches children little about how animals can live and thrive in the wild, or how they could contribute to vital conservation work which protects wild animals and their precious natural habitats.
We urge Manchester City Council to ban mobile zoos from council
land, to safeguard public health, to protect the welfare of animals
and as part of the Council's wider commitment to environmental
stewardship under the Climate Action plan and as a Fair Trade
Started by: Volunteer (Freedom for Animals)
This ePetition ran from 01/10/2021 to 31/01/2022 and has now finished.
103 people signed this ePetition.