Animal hunting, also known as poaching, is an illegal sport in the UK. It has been around for thousands of years, when they started off mostly with bears and foxes. Unfortunately, the range of animals that are being hunted, is expanding. Especially animals with habitats located in forests and woods. Animals such as: elk, boar, rhinos, lions, deer, foxes and rams.
21,000 – 25,000 foxes are killed each year; 400 – 1,400 mink are killed per season; 160 red deer are killed per year and 1,650 hares are killed per season. This is just a small number of cases. There are so many animals that are in danger, and the supporting teams and groups such as the WWF are doing the best they can to make sure these animals survive.
Animals are being hunted for not only the entertainment, but also for money as animals can be used to make medicine as their fur is valuable to suppliers and manufacturers; for example, tigers are mostly used for medicine, and elephants’ tusks contain valuable ivory. There are many companies and sites supporting and companying for the innocent creatures, but there are still thousands of animals in danger, and a number of animals are disappearing because of this sport. Hunters are mostly capable of this and use handguns, shotguns, rifles and bows and arrows to hunt.
Animals in Sport
As well as this, greyhounds are being forced to race for human enjoyment. Consequently, they are confined in a small cage or kennel for long periods of time. They compete in a race, which only lasts a few minutes and are then put back into their confined cage. Although greyhounds get social time, massages and treats, they spend hours in confined spaces for training, or whilst they wait for their race. Many greyhounds are killed because if they are not the best racers. Some don’t even go near a race track before they are killed because they are not good enough to put on a show. When a dog is too old or ill to race, it is abandoned or killed. Dogs start racing when they are 18 months old and can retire at the age of 4 or 5, but most don’t ever live to this age because of the harsh conditions of their lifestyle. The greyhounds are treated like machines that are just used for enjoyment of humans, much like a game.
A survey of 15 pupils state that over two thirds think greyhound racing unacceptable because they are forced to endure training and confined spaces before and after races.
Famous companies, such as MAC and TRESemmé are responsible for testing on animals to make sure their products work and are suitable for us as humans. By testing on these animals, scientists are able to expand their knowledge and maybe even discover a cure for the diseases or illnesses that have an impact on our world today. It is a controversial issue that plagues the developed world.
Many animals, including rabbits, are being harmed by companies testing their cosmetic products on them. It’s still happening even though scientists have found a cheaper, faster and less harmful way of trying new makeup and beauty creams. They developed artificial human skin and eyes with all the body’s natural properties in the 1920s.
They studied human cells and tissues to make an accurate model of the human for precise results. Vital organ models were also used to help them in this study. But for some reason, animal testing for cosmetics is still happening. The question is: Is it acceptable to test on animals for medicine or cosmetics? If we knew how many cosmetic companies used animal testing, would this make us less willing to buy their products?
We asked students at Chancellor’s School about their opinion on animal testing:
“I disagree with animal testing because, it is cruel and animals do not need to be tested on as scientists have alternative ways to experiment with drugs/medicine.”
“I disagree with testing cosmetics on animals. Cosmetics does not benefit humans as much as medicine/drugs do, due to this, I believe that testing on animals for medical reasons is acceptable. If humans have to risk testing on animals to help those in need, it is a risk we must take.”
“I do disagree with testing cosmetic and household products on animals as it is just wasting animals’ health and lives. Although, it has not stopped me from buying products which may have been tested on animals. On the other hand, I do agree with testing medicine and drugs on animals as they are more important for humans.”
It seems that people are against testing on animals for cosmetics, but this wouldn’t deter them from buying the products, suggesting that animal welfare is not such a priority to a vast majority of people. People are more accepting of the idea when it comes to medicine, as it can benefit the wellbeing of humans.
Animals in Captivity
Zoos are great places to see animals and wildlife. However the animals that we love to visit, aren’t always happy animals, because they are kept in Zoos. They may start to change the way they behave; this is caused by boredom, frustration, depression and the fact that they have been removed from their natural habitats. This is called ‘zoochosis’. The first signs of this are the following; bar biting, circling, rocking, swaying (elephants are most likely do this, as they mimic the swaying grass that they would have seen in their natural habitat), pacing, rolling, twisting or the nodding of the neck, excessive grooming and vomiting.
People will always have their own opinion on whether it is or isn’t right for animals to be kept in a zoo; we asked a variety of people what their beliefs on animals in captivity are:
“If an animal had an illness or was endangered then, yes. But if they have been taken from the wild and away from their family then, no.” - aged 11
“No, because ‘Blackfish’ the movie, shows how stressed the animals can get when in captivity”- aged 25
“I think it is ok to have animals kept in a zoo because people can see what you don’t see every day, plus they get looked after more and are less likely to die” – aged 11
“They can be kept in a zoo as long as they’re treated properly and are being looked after by an experienced zoo keeper, they will have more of a chance at survival then they would in the wild” – aged 12
“I only think that they should be kept in a zoo if it is for breeding purposes “- aged 23
After getting people’s opinions on the subject, it is evident that most people said either it is acceptable in certain scenarios. Such as: breeding if the animal is endangered; or caring for the animal to help it survive. They also spoke about getting an experienced zoo keeper to look after the animals; when hiring, zoos are always looking out for people who share the same vision for the future- wanting to make a difference.
Next time you visit a zoo think about how the animals feel.
Do animal have Rights? Yes! We hope this article has helped to persuade you to think about the welfare of animals in the same way you would view that of a human’s.