Should Animals Be Kept In Captivity?

822 words - 4 pages

There are many animals in captivity all around the world. These animals are either living in zoos for our enjoyment, at breeding centers to avoid extinct wildlife, or research laboratories to test animal with different products. The stress of being in a small confined habitat will usually have the animal lash out and endanger people around them. Is it ethical to keep animals in captivity for research, breeding, or for our enjoyment? Over the years, keeping animals in captivity has not changed in safety or the well-being and health of the animal.
There are about 26 billion animals or 10,000 species that are kept on farms or in zoos, conservation breeding centers, research laboratories and households1. A symbol of power, income, and pride come from all zoos2. Most animals are usually held in captivity for entertainment, education, research, and conservation purposes. The reasons that animals are held in captivity could favor some people and others not3. The article, Response to Captivity, indicates the research that captive animals are often healthier, long-lived, and free living1. In The Art of the Cage, the author mentions “to find enrichment is to sometimes have no enrichment at all.” This translates to how an animal in captivity may not be fed for a period of several days. By having animals in cages and separating them from a mate, parent, or offspring, it gets them ready for the wild. Every animal will need to endure hardships that it may face if they were in the wild. While the animals have these hardships it gives them some kind of endurance, self-sufficiency, and survival instincts2.
Breeding is the other reason that animals are in captivity. Professionals bring in rare or endangered animals with the hope of sustaining populations so they have a reintroduction into the wild. There could be a possible genetic change to an animal within captivity and then have a harder time being reintroduced into a natural habitat. Research has been done to prevent genetic change to minimize genetic adaptations to reduce the number of first generation by delaying reproduction4. The other major reason they are held in captivity is the process of rehabilitation. The article, Ethical Issues, defines rehabilitation as the treatment of wild animals found injured or ill, taken into captivity until restored to full health and then returned to the wild. When the animal is released they are...

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