An Entertainment Abuses Article from All-Creatures.org



Where do pet store hamsters come from?

From LCA Last Chance for Animals
March 2024

A new undercover investigation released by LCA exposes animal suffering at a breeding mill that breeds and sells tens of thousands of hamsters annually. Hamsters from these types of mills (often referred to as small-animal breeding mills or commercial breeding mills) can end up in pet stores like Petco, PetSmart, and Petland. 

Watch the undercover video on youtube HERE.

dead hamster babies

Injuries, infections, wounds, and ailments like eye infections, dehydration, and hair loss, were common. Hamsters were not provided proper veterinary care. Although a veterinarian made mandated inspections of the facility, individual animals were not examined. An antibiotic intended for use in larger farmed animals, was used to treat infections and wounds by staff with little to no veterinary background.

Hamsters are sensitive and intelligent individuals with complex care needs. Hamsters are commonly bought as “starter pets” for children. The hamster industry exists to supply mass numbers of animals to the public. Similar to the puppy mill industry.

Mill hamsters are kept in small, overcrowded, soiled cages with minimal shavings for burrowing. Female and male hamsters are repeatedly bred. Hamsters who are sick, injured, over-bred, and deemed ugly, are routinely killed.

Commercial small-animal mills breed various species of animals: hamsters, guinea pigs, skinny pigs, reptiles, fish, birds, rabbits, mice, and rats. These animals are treated as breeding machines who are only valued for their ability to bring in a profit.

crowded Hamster cages

LCA’S INVESTIGATION REVEALED:

  • Hamsters are kept in small, overcrowded, soiled cages with minimal shavings for burrowing, and no enrichment. Hamsters have an instinctive need to burrow deeply for their well being.
  • Hamsters who are sick, injured, over-bred, and deemed ugly are all killed by poisonous gas.
    Adult hamsters can take several minutes to die in the plastic gas chamber with some crying in distress as they are gasping for air. Baby hamsters take up to 40 minutes to die.
  • The killing of hamsters is done using a common plastic storage tub connected to the gas canister.
  • Due to the stressful and unnatural breeding mill environment, hamsters routinely display signs of stress: cannibalization, hamsters pacing back and forth in their cages, and they also got their heads stuck in cage wire as they try to push and chew their way to escape.
  • Female hamsters repeatedly bred until they are killed.
  • Breeding males are housed up to five together in a single small cage, leading to fights, injuries and death.
  • Hamsters have no access to water and carrots are used as a water replacement.
  • Mill hamster illnesses are chronic; these include infections, injuries, eye infections, dehydration and hair loss.
  • During the timeframe of the investigation, a veterinarian made mandated inspections of the facility, but individual animals were not actually examined.
  • The employees treated infections and wounds with an antibiotic intended for use in larger farmed animals.

untreated Hamster injury


Posted on All-Creatures.org: May 20, 2024
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