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Old 03-17-2022, 04:40 PM  
Hamster Pup
heidii's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: England
Posts: 232
Default Re: Opinions on hamster shows?

Now that I've been to a hamster show, I think I would like to give my input.

My area has no hamsters. Nobody owns hamsters, nobody breeds hamsters and nobody rehomes hamsters. The nearest hamster to me (apart from pet store hamsters) that needed rehoming was over 70 miles away, in a completely different county, costing over 80 pounds on the train. It didn't feel right to go that far and back on a train with a hamster, and I wanted to wait for one to become available in my area.

Someone here told me that the Southern Hamster Club was hosting a show nearby, and so I went. I've never been to a show before, so it was definitely interesting to see. On some tables there were countless rows of tiny boxed up hamsters that were on show for their coats and pelts. Another table had pet hamster that were there to be judged, and another table had some available for sale.

It didn't feel good looking at all the stressed hamsters. Some were pacing back and fourth, scratching at the wall of the cage, whilst others were curled up in balls.

Ultimately, the show only lasts a few hours before it's all shut down. For the first few hours, people come and look at the hamsters, perhaps buy second hand cages and toys. Then at 12 there was the judging. The judges will hold a hamster for a couple minutes before putting it back in their enclosure and ticking a few things off their list. The winner earns a bag of bedding or food or something and the whole things done. And since there were so many breeder hamsters, as opposed to the 10 pet hamsters, the judges were judging the breeder hamsters throughout the time I spent there.

I do not think it is ethical as it is right now. However, I think as new generations of people come about, each one learning more and more towards proper pet care, I think it could genuinely be a good thing. I'm glad I went as I managed to get my little boy, however I can't really justify the rosette-winning breeder hamsters. Their cages were no more than 20cm, if that, and it didn't feel right to have them in there for 5+ hours on minimal cat litter bedding.

In reptile shows, they use one-way boxes to reduce the stress of the pet. I think this could potentially be implemented into rodent shows, too. Also, I think these shows could even start later. The show I attended started at 9am, which isn't ideal for hamsters. Even having a show start at 5pm and ending at 10pm is significantly more ideal for them.

These shows are good for providing access to well-bred hamsters in areas with no breeders. They are also good for allowing people to see different types of hamsters. I am not sure if any animal show is ever ideal, but they do have their benefits.
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