Rat Forum banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
544 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my college is an animal welfare and agricultural college.

They have always had rats and I have never been happy with their housing.
They are either in too small cages, or they have virtually no enrichment.

But now... Its even worse. Why?
Because we have had a new building built. And there are two small animal rooms. And the cages... ARE TANKS. Yes, we have rats, in tanks. We also have, guinea pigs. In tanks.
They have all these new cages. But none are cages. All of them are tanks.

There is no room for enrichment!
They have two tiny ventilation vents or whatever, at the back (which is against a wall...) at the bottom of the tank.
The tanks are tiny.
They can't climb!

I am so beyond angry right now.
I needed to vent.

They have 3 male rats in a tank thats about 120cm (4ft long) but its not very deep, nor high. Not that, that makes any difference anyways because they can't climb. All the enrichment they have is a cardboard box and a coconut house that they can't even fit in (its made for hamsters). You can't even attach rope in the tank for enrichment.

I am so so so so angry. I'll try and get some photos when I am next in the room.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
438 Posts
Ugh, i know exactly how you feel. I started taking an animal management course last year and had to quit because I couldn't stand seeing the animals in the conditions they were in. The rats there had a big enough cage but they had a an elderly completely hairless rat with only straw for bedding. No fleece or soft bedding, not even shredded paper just scratchy straw. And when he started loosing weight and looking ill i tried to suggest how to improve his quality of life but they insisted on putting him down, so a friend who also had her own rats offered to take him off of their hands but before she had a chance they had him put to sleep and, even worse, they put his cage mate to sleep as well even though he had nothing wrong with him! They also had two other rats whose cage WAS too small and who also had straw for bedding and they both had severe URIs, worse again, one was a female and the other an intact male. When i tried to raise the issue with a teacher i was shot down and made to feel like some rude, disobedient school child. It was infuriating.

There was an incident i consider to be even worse but i wont get into it, i didn't mean to take over your post but i soo understand where you're coming from! Animal colleges in the UK seem to have a long way to go. I hope you can share your concerns with the staff there without being treated the way i was. Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
544 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm wanting to bring it up, but I am like so so shy. I get really nervous talking to teachers and I wont even put my hand up in class-even if I know the answer. If i get picked on to answer a question I panic...

I'm going to try and raise the issues, but I am terrified. I don't get along with most of the teachers at this college.
The worst thing is, the head teacher or 'principal' as they call her, is so pleased with everything! She was praising the head of animal care for all the work that had been put in and how she's so pleased all the tanks look so good in the new rooms >.<

Drives me mad.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,055 Posts
Is there an anonymous way that you can raise the issue? Nameless phone call, suggestion box, etc. Even the silly teacher evaluations that they make you fill out if your college does that. If you know of anyone else that feels the same way then getting their support too would be helpful. I'm not sure what exactly the animals are used for there, but what you describe sounds like a half-ass attempt at a research laboratory setup. Even in a laboratory setting, we're required to provide enrichment for the animals. It may not be the same as we give our animals at home, but there are standards that have to be met. Before making a formal complaint though, see if you can find animal care guidelines used by the school. Unfortunately, if they've got vet approval for what they're doing then there's not much you can do :/ In any case, those ventilation holes are supposed to be connected to a circulating air supply.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
438 Posts
I'm wanting to bring it up, but I am like so so shy. I get really nervous talking to teachers and I wont even put my hand up in class-even if I know the answer. If i get picked on to answer a question I panic...

I'm going to try and raise the issues, but I am terrified. I don't get along with most of the teachers at this college.
The worst thing is, the head teacher or 'principal' as they call her, is so pleased with everything! She was praising the head of animal care for all the work that had been put in and how she's so pleased all the tanks look so good in the new rooms >.<

Drives me mad.
I know how you feel, I have an anxiety disorder which makes it nearly impossible for me to confront authoritative figures too! I think the only reason I managed in my old college was because I had three or four people willing to back me up. Speaking of which, are any of your classmates concerned with the well being of these animals? If you form a united front of sorts it could have a bigger impact and make it easier to let the teachers know how you feel. Unfortunately it did no good in my case, but here's hoping the staff at your college are a bit better.

I remember for some of my assignments I had to write about the right kind of accommodation for certain animals (i mostly always chose rats to base my work on :p ), I'm not sure what kind of work you do on your course but if you have a similar assignment you could write about the way the rat cages should be improved and it's not really confronting a teacher but they'll have to read it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
544 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Is there an anonymous way that you can raise the issue? Nameless phone call, suggestion box, etc. Even the silly teacher evaluations that they make you fill out if your college does that. If you know of anyone else that feels the same way then getting their support too would be helpful. I'm not sure what exactly the animals are used for there, but what you describe sounds like a half-ass attempt at a research laboratory setup. Even in a laboratory setting, we're required to provide enrichment for the animals. It may not be the same as we give our animals at home, but there are standards that have to be met. Before making a formal complaint though, see if you can find animal care guidelines used by the school. Unfortunately, if they've got vet approval for what they're doing then there's not much you can do :/ In any case, those ventilation holes are supposed to be connected to a circulating air supply.

The animals arn't used for lab work or anything like that. They are there so students can learn how to 'care' for the animals properly and manage them appropriately. Which makes no sense to me if they are housed incorrectly...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
544 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I know how you feel, I have an anxiety disorder which makes it nearly impossible for me to confront authoritative figures too! I think the only reason I managed in my old college was because I had three or four people willing to back me up. Speaking of which, are any of your classmates concerned with the well being of these animals? If you form a united front of sorts it could have a bigger impact and make it easier to let the teachers know how you feel. Unfortunately it did no good in my case, but here's hoping the staff at your college are a bit better.

I remember for some of my assignments I had to write about the right kind of accommodation for certain animals (i mostly always chose rats to base my work on :p ), I'm not sure what kind of work you do on your course but if you have a similar assignment you could write about the way the rat cages should be improved and it's not really confronting a teacher but they'll have to read it.
I have done all my assignments on rats (most of them!) but unfortunately we did animal accommodation last year, not this year. I dont think i'll get any assignments on housing anymore, seeing as we did it last year.
My classmates don't know anything about rats, but they don't like the size of the tanks. Teachers at my college... arn't that nice. So everyone is scared to say anything... :/
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top