Majority of students in favour of scrapping the petting zoo

59% of you said you’d like to see the event scrapped in future


A Soton Tab student poll has revealed that the majority of respondents would like to see the event scrapped for future exam periods.

The poll, at the end of our recent article suggesting many students are uncomfortable with the petting zoo despite SUSU’s insistence of “brilliant feedback from students”, has revealed that student concern over the zoo is more than just a niche interest.

From 844 respondents, 501 responded ‘Yes’ to the question “Should SUSU scrap the petting zoo?”, a 59% majority.

james zoo

Just 343 respondents voted ‘No’, making up 41% of the vote.

The RSPCA society have created a petition calling on SUSU to “ban” the event in future, saying “Animals are not entertainment, they feel fear and loneliness and it definitely is not their choice to be there.

“Since animals cannot express their feelings, we must be their voice.”

Mary Walton, President of the Vegan and Vegetarian society said “the petting zoo should be scrapped.

“When I went there the turkeys were pecking at their cage which is a sign of distress.”

In response, VP Welfare Sam Bailey poured cold water on suggestions the zoo will be reconsidered, telling Tab “you can see from the discussions that have taken place online there is a large amount of support for the Petting Zoo, as well as those who don’t like it.

“We’ll always be guided by the farm in the provisions for the animals’ welfare as they are qualified and experienced in providing the best care they can.

“We always review events and projects that take place and listen to student feedback.”

He went on to add that students can lobby for the review by suggesting a policy on SUSU’s website.

Opinions from the general student body, while slightly in favour of reconsidering the petting zoo in future, remain divided.

One commenter said “I don’t believe it should be scrapped. I understand the concerns of the individuals who are against it however I don’t agree that the animals are being put at risk or are in any way distressed at all.”

Another who disagreed said “I come from Spain and have always considered UK as a much more advanced country in relation to animal rights than my home country.

“When I heard about the petting zoo I was very dissapointed and shocked, not only because it’s UK but because it’s at a university, a place where supposedly intellectual people go to.

“I think and hope they ban this in future years because I don’t think it’s ethical and I don’t really think it’s an effective way for students to “de-stress”.

“I think they should stick with the meditation/yoga courses offered this year too, something that will really make a difference.”

Another simply added “It should be scrapped on the grounds that it’s a massive waste of time.

“If you’re really that stressed about exams you ought to be talking to someone about it.”