School Mistreats Rats
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*This picture of Cleo was after we rescued her.
In Delaware middle schoolers, 7th graders have a "fun" experiment to see if rats grow faster on sugar water or milk. Although many enjoy the experience and knowing how to take care of the rat, they are actually teaching animal abuse and neglect. Please read for an explanation on how they are doing so.
- Rats are given no regular water, only milk or sugar water. Milk can be good in little bits in dairy products. However, rats are lactose intolerant. It should only be given in small portions and not at one time. Sugar is bad in general, but sugar water is not recommended for long-term purposes.
- The environment is unsafe for rats. They are placed in a small aquarium with newspaper or cedar as bedding in isolation. An aquarium gives them no place to climb and the space is insufficient. The supplied toys are not stimulating and do not include hammocks or hidey houses. Again with the tank, it is small and plastic. The only two rats that we have owned that have suffered with URIs are the two from the school.
- The teachers teach wrong care about rats, saying they only need table scraps and drink out of bowls. It is a rule of thumb that rats thrive off of lab blocks and a variety of fresh fruits, veggies, and meats.
- A lottery system takes place after the experiment to decide which kid will take home the rats. Anyone with parental permission is allowed to enter. The rats may meet a horrid fate after the kids are supplied with incorrect care instructions and are given to a home without experience.
This is what will happen if you sign this:
- The rats will still be purchased but with more information on how to take care of them.
- The rats will go through fun experiments everyone can enjoy. (ex: Rats can find the treat faster in mazes if the same song is played).
- Rats will get larger cages.
- Rats will be together in at least a pair.
- Rats will be given to kids with knowledge, and a binder will be printed out with the necessities. Home check-ups along with cage setups will be checked.
Please sign this petition! If the rattie community comes together, we can make a change for the better.
Here's some of our Facebook Rat Group reactions to this practice!
Taylor Nelson- It's teaching kids that 1, it’s okay to think poorly of animal life, giving them an unsuitable environment to live in, and not meet dietary needs. and 2, that its normal, and okay to experiment on live animals. experimenting on animals should be a huge decision, it should weigh on your conscious, and only considered for serious experiments, not something a school should do. Children will walk away from that school thinking less of the value of life.
Corrissa Fink- This is just wrong. No creature should be treated this way. They are being treated the exact opposite of how they should be taken care of. Aquariums are designed for FISH not rats. How would you like it to be trapped in a tank with your own pee all the time? Also they are alone which is cruel. Would you like to be alone for your entire life? It's true that rats are lactose intolerant. If a person has an allergy to a certain food you don't force them to eat what they are allergic to, so why do that to an animal? Rats make great pets and are easy to take care of if you actually know what you’re doing... I don't know what this experiment is but the data must be completely inaccurate since the rats are not being treated properly.
Tayrn Arbogast- What kinda school is this? I work with rats in a research lab (we do a lot with testing genetic disorders). We would get closed down if we stuck solitary rats in aquariums with newspaper and fed them "table scraps". We have to go through a huge ordeal to even draw blood from the rats for testing and their maintenance, housing, food, etc... is heavily regulated. What is the purpose of giving the rat cow's milk? What exactly are they testing and why? You can't just give an animal something and call it an "experiment", there's so much more to it than that...
*Comment only edited for spelling and grammar mistakes.
Sending rat kisses your way.
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