Welfare in Pet Shops
The AVMC is concerned about the whole culture of the ‘pet shop’, in which live animals are caged awaiting sale. It is a basically disrespectful process, fraught with the risk of welfare penalties for the animals involved. As in most fields of human endeavour, there is a spectrum of quality, providing variable welfare risks for incumbent animals.
We realise that many denigrate the tendency to ‘anthropomorphise’, when it comes to animal welfare issues, but similarities between the modern Pet Trade and the slave trade of old do spring to mind. Perhaps, for those animals (cage-pets) that will eventually spend their lives in a home, in similar cage circumstances, and who take little interest in their wider environment, caging in a shop is not too bad. Birds cannot be given freedom to fly in a pet shop environment, however, which they should eventually be able to enjoy in a caring home. Puppies, kittens and other ‘larger’ animals must find the whole experience very degrading. They are sentient beings, not inanimate baubles.
Exotic mammals, reptiles, birds and fish, imported for the pet trade, suffer a very stressful (and often fatal) experience in the capture, shipping and caging process. On no account should that trade be encouraged by purchasing such imported creatures.