More Australian animal cruelty in America

A couple of days ago I wrote about Tourism Australia keeping a kangaroo in inhumane conditions, all in the name of advertising our land down under. Now it has emerged that Americans are keeping our native and wild animals, sugar gliders, as pets.

In the US, sugar gliders can be purchased for about A$240 but it seems their owners are treating them like guinea pigs. Many of the ‘pets’ are being taken to vets because they are malnourished and have broken bones and chronic lethargy as a result of the food they are being fed.

Many of the sugar gliders’ owners are feeding them hot dogs and soft drinks which is unhealthy for their diets. They are also being used like mice in a cage, with their owners forcing them to ride on toy motorbikes or to leap off ironing boards and curtain rods.

A US company, Pocket Pets, is also selling sugar glider accessories such as tote pouches and running wheels. However, the company, which also sells the animals, said they are not taken out of the wild but instead are bred in captivity for domestic use. Pocket Pets said they also live longer in captivity – 10 to 15 years, compared to six to eight years in the wild.

I think it’s wrong to keep wild animals as pets. Next thing you know, Americans will be using koala bears as teddy bears and wombats as foot rests. What do you think?

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