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Rostock Zoo - July 2007

Mice and rats breeding station.

Rostock Zoo - July 2007
fanaloka, 26 Apr 2009
    • fanaloka
      Mice and rats breeding station.
    • Dan
      Can I critisize this picture without being ridiculed?

      Rats are clever and active animals. Many people now keep them as pets. In this enclosure they cannot even stand up on two legs, as we are used to seing them when they have found something particularily interesting that they want to check out.

      Sexually hyperactive, anyway, they apparently breed under whatever circumstances. I hate what I see in this picture.
    • CZJimmy
      Dan, judging by the name of this place (breeding station). I imagine the rats are only moved here to give birth and moved back when the babies can fend for themselves a bit.

      (I say that in hope!)
    • torie
      i would say that this is simply where rats and possibly mice are breed to be used as food for the other animals in the zoo. if that is the case than i would say that this is the housing that these rats will spend their entire lives in. while it looks inhumane and i wont comment on my feelings about it it is an extremely common practice that occurs in many zoos, hospitals and other research facilities as well as places that breed rats and mice for animal consumption.

      the only difference here is that this zoo has decided to be open about it and allow members of the public to view the facilities
    • fanaloka
      Dear Dan, Of course you can criticized whatever you wish – such are your rights written in Swedish constitution and I am sure in constitution of EU as well. Of course while uploading these few photos from the place I named “Mice and rats breeding station” – I expected that there will be some critical words. So I am ready to explain everything and will answer any other question you might have. I am a veterinary surgeon and I assure you that all what you see on all these photos is absolutely in accordance with all EU regulations. There are ISO (International Organisation for Standarisation) regulation which are describing in details the size of cages for all possibly laboratory animals such as mice, rats, hamsters, rabbits etc. And what do you mean by “sexual hyperactivity”? And again the breeding cages are a little bit different from regular one – but still on this picture all is OK! Nothing is wrong with this cage. Of course all the animals bred here are used as food in Rostock Zoo and of course are sell to other zoos as well. You can hate such photos but believe me such breeding stations in the zoos are only a tiny tip of the huge iceberg ! Billions of mice and rats (and many other species as well) are killed every year in the laboratories all over the world. All those animals are sacrificed not because of pure, undefined science but first of all to test new drugs to give the millions of people the chance to win their fight with cancer and other diseases. So please do not bury your head in the sand. And shortly to “Torie” – the ordinary visitors are not allowed there !
    • Zebraduiker
      NOTHING IS WRONG WITH THIS CAGE ? Really ? I know, most of zoos are keeping their food rats and mice in such cges, but this make sit not better ! And of course it make sit not better, that visitors are not allowed to see this sections, I gues, the zoos have good reasons to do that....

      I've kept rats many years at home, and this cages means only on thing : tormention of animals ! Fortuanmtely, there are a few zoos,w hcih are keeping their food animals in much betetr conditions, so in much bigger exhibts, 1 sm, with trees in it, watera nd hiding places. A really good zoo is keeping his food animals also in good conditons as he does it with his other animals. Food animals are living creature ,too ! The zoos should not forget that.
    • Dan
      Thanks fanaloka and I hope you didn´t take my criticism as personal. I do not doubt your information that what we see in this picture is in compliance with EU regulations and ISO standards. But that doesn´t stop me from hating it - more on that later. You kindly invite me to ask questions and two in particular comes to mind:

      1. What are the measurements of these plastic containers?

      2. The metal bar construction, that makes the volume of this small plastic container even smaller - what is its function and could it have been designed in another way so as not to have this effect?

      "Sexually hyperactive" was probably a badly chosen and irrelevant expression. I was aiming at the discussion as to whether breeding is a sign of an animal´s well-being or not (a discussion that pops up now and then on ZooChat). My point being that it is not and that certain species will breed no matter what horrible conditions they are kept under.

      This brings me back to my main point. These rats are kept under terrible conditions. As are countless other animals in laboratories, pig farms etc etc. In my view, there are no valid moral, ethical or philosophical arguments to defend these practices.

      I would suggest that what we see in this picture boils down to the fact that humans have chosen to apply an illogical hierarchy as to the "value" of this or that species. Because of this hierarchy, most people would argure, it is "OK" to treat a pair of rats as in this picture. While - at least in the Western World - it would not be "OK" to treat a pair of domesticated dogs like this. In my original post I wrote, somewhat simplistically, that rats are "clever and active" animals. So are dogs. Both species probably have about the same needs when it comes to living good lives, when their lives are controlled by humans - exercise, enrichment, mental challenges etc etc. If you were to incarcerate a pair of dogs in a plastic container, the size of it relatively corresponding to the size of this container for rats, you would end up with two tormented and unhappy dogs. I suggest that these two rats are tormented and unhappy.

      But in the hierarchy applied by humans, rats are "vermin" and thus can be treated like this. I bet 95 percent of all people in the world would laugh at me for even raising this question.

      Zebraduiker is an exception and for that I sincerely thank him or her. My conclusion is the the same as Zebraduiker´s: what we see in this picture is the tormention of animals.
    • James27
      These cages are bigger than they appear as they are quite deep. However I agree, they're fine for mice but too small for rats.
    • fanaloka
      If you want to learn more about the laboratory animal cages and the space requirements for keeping different laboratory animals just simply "google" a combination of those words and you will get links to many different web sites. And if you want to learn more about animal welfare (including different aspects of laborartory animal keeping but zoo animal as well) please refer to the following web site: Animal Welfare Information Center
      This is Animal Welfare Information Centre which is the part of US Department of Agriculture. Really very good site - very informative.
      You both (Dan and Zebraduiker) present very emotional point of view, and you use words of really very emotional conotation (tormention, vermin, horrible, moral, ethical, etc.). Unfortunately (or not) the world is as it is. There may not be any "valid moral, ethical or philosophical arguments" for laboratory animal keeping, test on animals, pig farms, chicken farms etc. etc. - but it is one very important argument ECONOMICAL one. Even if we go back to the matter of breeding such animals as guinea pigs, mice and rats in zoos for food. In the past nearly all zoos had such back-stage establihsment. Now such "breeding stations" are only in very few zoos. Why? And again the answer is - economy ! You can buy frozen (or fresh) rats, mice and even guinea pigs as well I guess, from big breeding farms - at relatively low prices. So if you want to keep such establishment in the zoo - it have to be big enough to produce food animals at the comparatively low cost. Well, I think that's it for the moment. Is getting late - at least here in Poland !!
    • fanaloka
      Well, perhaps one more question - a little bit personal if you do not mind - specially to Dan and Zebraduiker - are you vegans or vegetarians ???
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