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Petting zoo set to return

Revision Aid is already underway, with the elected officer team travelling between the libraries offering a source of refuge to stressed students throughout the exam period that runs from the 12th May to the 13th June.

The sabbatical officers will be handing out free food and drink, alongside giving out advice to students, in association with the Advice and Representation Centre (ARC).

Following the success of last year’s Petting Zoo, the University are bringing the zoo back on three dates: the 23rd and 30th of May and the 6th June.

Various studies have shown that petting animals helps to significantly relieve stress and anxiety, with last year’s Union Development officer, Kieran Gandhi, using this information to benefit Cardiff students. Last year, llamas, goats and rabbits were found outside the ASSL.

Other universities including the University of Leicester and UCL have brought in similar schemes, with UCL’s website declaring that ‘People will be inspired by dogs to enjoy the small things in life. They will be inspired by cats to love themselves and sleep more.’

Several universities are uncomfortable with the idea of petting zoos. Last year, the University of Leeds cancelled their proposed petting zoo after animal rights charity PETA stated their discontent with the event. PETA claimed “Petting zoos do contribute to a vicious cycle of breeding, abandonment and killing.’

The University of Stirling has followed Leeds University’s example and have abandoned their plans for a petting zoo due to the poor treatment of animals and the health risks posed to humans.

The animals for this year’s petting zoo are yet to be decided, but last year featured a range of animals, from goats to baby bulls.

VP Media & Marketing, Tom Eden, saying: “Last year was a fantastic success so credit must go to last year’s Union Development Officer Kieran Gandhi who organised it. I know he will be proud that this will be one of his legacies!

It started as a joke among last year’s Elected Officer team, but once Gandhi started talking about it,  so gair rhydd put it on the front page so he couldn’t back out!

“The feedback received last year was superb and we’re looking to emulate and improve on that.

“We don’t know what animal we’ll have yet, so suggestions are very welcome. Although Gandhi has advised that Llamas aren’t a good idea. ”

Beth Lyons

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