Stop Pets at Home turning their animal enclosures into a playground

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This year pets at home have launched their new store design, which included an 'interactive pet village'. This design is currently in stores in Stockport and Chestfield but it is likely there are plans to roll this design out to other stores nationwide. 

Which can be seen here:

I would like for Pets at Home to reconsider this. 

The new pet village includes "interactive tunnels, where kids can crawl, play and come face to face with small furries" 

The majority of the animals you have on sale in your small pet village are prey species, including rabbits and guinea pigs who by nature can become extremely nervous and stressed in loud environments, and require adequate places to hide to feel secure and safe. Advertising and adapting your store to become a playground environment, encourages children to run around, and be noisy in close proximity to prey species that have no where to hide, although the new design of the enclosure in stores include a "burrow", this includes viewing areas and peep holes, providing the rabbits and guinea pigs no ability to escape and have somewhere they feel safe. 

I personally feel this is a major step back when it comes to the welfare of the animals in store, where pets that are a life long commitment for adults are being targeted towards children, that are drawn into the stores with the promise of playing, encourage to be loud and excited around animals, when they should be encouraged to be quiet and respectful. 

Furthermore, another reason I believe this design to be a step backwards in the welfare of the animals in store, is the reduction in space these enclosures provide. Whereas the previous design of the rabbit enclosures in store provided them with more floor space, this seems to have been done away in favour of the 'crawl space' for children beneath the enclosure, and as a result the rabbits are provided with less floor space. 

The minimum floor space recommended by the RWAF for rabbits in the UK is 3x2x1m for a pair of rabbits, but at the very least a rabbit should be able to completely stretch out and hop 3-4 times across the length of the enclosure. With 4-5 young rabbits in these new enclosures at a time, from some of the photos they seem unable to do so, and it is clearly overcrowded. 

I do not believe that housing these prey species in cramped enclosures, with very few places to hide and feel safe, whilst allowing young children to run around them and treat them as a commodity, thus possibly stressing them out in the process, is setting them up to then go on to new homes and have a good start in life.

I ask that you please rethink the design of your new 'Interactive pet villages' and instead of marketing them towards kids, focus on the welfare of the animals and providing them with more space, and an enclosure where they can feel safe, and as stress free as possible whilst in your care.