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Letter: Don’t exploit animals simply to turn a profit

Don’t exploit animals simply to turn a profit

Recent letters about the alleged degradation of cows at the Erie County Fair prompted me to think about the treatment of animals in a traveling petting zoo that was temporarily set up in my neighborhood during midsummer.

I observed that the animals looked uncomfortable and depressed. The temperature was close to 90 degrees in the shade, of which the animals had little. Few children seemed to be interested in petting them. One featured animal was an “exotic Polish chicken” that scurried away from those who did try to pet the skittish show bird.

A pony that had provided rides for children stood alone in the petting zoo’s trailer – motionless, tethered, muzzled and near a pile of excrement. A group of farm animals lined up end-to-end in the little shade they could find inside their pen. The noise of motor vehicles passing by, plus jet planes flying overhead, most likely added to the animals’ stress.

Perhaps the saddest sight of all was a tortoise desperately trying to get out of its enclosure. Onlookers laughed at the amphibian’s attempts to escape.

It was two hours of misery for these confined, overheated animals. Apparently this unsettling exhibit was an activity for kids to enjoy while the adults partied in the backyard.

I don’t condemn the homeowners who hired this “entertainment” that afternoon. Most likely they were unaware of the humiliation that these animals endure. I urge people to avoid patronizing any business that exists to exploit animals.

Scott Allen

Town of Tonawanda

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