Petaluma Wildlife Museum Suspends Rodent Breeding After Rat Abuse Caught on Tape
"Unfortunately, not all the news about the museum lately has been positive," museum officials said.
The video showed Petaluma High School students torturing rats at the wildlife museum, as reported by ABC 7 News in its coverage here.
The disturbing video went viral and calls were made to shut the museum altogether -- including an online petition started by a woman in Pennsylvania that has garnered 1,744 signatures, to date.
Here is the museum's statement:
"We value the welfare of all our students and animals, including the feeding rodent colony. In light of recent events the Petaluma Wildlife Museum Board of Directors has decided that it will be suspending our current rodent breeding program until the fall of 2014.
"At a meeting at our facility between Board President Lori Glenn, Officer Mark Scott with animal services, the Instructor and the Administration of the high school, it was decided that we will be developing new procedures and protocols for keeping an accurate and up to date inventory of the rodents in our feeding program.
"These new procedures will ensure that all rodents are handled according to protocol prior to the reintroduction of our breeding program. By further developing our inventory policies and training's with our CO2 chamber we will ensure that all of our feeder rodents will be euthanized in compliance with AVMA standards.
"We openly welcome direct dialog regarding all animal welfare issues. We want to thank the community for their continued support of our program. Please contact us if you have any further questions or concerns."