PETA Pitted Against Petting Zoo
Animal rights group PETA has voiced strong concerns over CUSU’s upcoming bunny bonanza.
A spokesperson from animal rights organisation People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has called upon the university to cancel CUSU’s de-stress petting zoo.
In an email to Vice Chancellor Leszek Borysiewicz, PETA cites the possibility of “serious pathogens, including E coli and salmonella bacteria” being spread through the handling of animals.
Students could experience “bloody diarrhoea, anaemia, chronic kidney failure or neurological impairments such as seizures and strokes” from touching rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters, they warn.
Their spokesperson also claimed that petting zoos establish a “cruel cycle of breeding, abandonment and killing,” describing how “animals’ frustrations can lead to abnormal, neurotic and even self-destructive behaviour.”
Speaking to The Tab, CUSU welfare representative Chris Page confirmed that the event would proceed as scheduled, and reaffirmed that the campaign followed ethical guidelines similar to other those events taking place at other unis around the UK.
“The event is being run with a professional external company who adhere the highest ethical standards of animal welfare.
“CUSU cares about the welfare of students and animals, and have undertaken a thorough risk assessment of the event.
“We hope that it will be a positive experience for all involved.”
PETA, meanwhile, have urged CUSU to consider hiring masseurs to help students unwind instead.
Responding to CUSU’s decision to go forward with the campaign, they insist that students should choose from a “wide range of far more relaxing activities available in and around the Cambridge campus” and “urge Cambridge students to contact their representatives to voice their objections to this harmful activity.”