Newest Review: ... wing she was sporting a large, painful wound. The cockerel responsible for the damage was still in the pen with her and presumably still m... more
Knockhatch Adventure Park (East Sussex)
Member Name: Buzby
Knockhatch Adventure Park (East Sussex)
Disadvantages: Awful animal welfare.
I am a huge animal lover, keeping and working with animals myself. I love visiting anywhere that has animals, and recently decided to go with my parents, niece and nephew to Knockhatch Adventure Park. It was a huge mistake and not one I will repeat.
The first animal we came to was a goat with a sore and scabby looking nose and ears. I didn't think too much of that, when you have a lot of animals there is rarely a time when at least one of them isn't injured or poorly. However, moving on, we came to an enclosure of chickens, some of whom were in advanced stages of scaly leg. This is a condition caused by a mite that burrows under the skin and is both painful and irritating for the bird/s concerned. It is also very simple to treat but I could see no evidence of any treatment on the birds' legs and they should have been treated long before it got to this advanced stage.
Moving on, we came to an enclosure where one of the hens was suffering from damage caused by the cockerel. Not only was her back bald, but under one wing she was sporting a large, painful wound. The cockerel responsible for the damage was still in the pen with her and presumably still mounting her at will.
Next up was an overweight pot bellied pig. Pot bellied pigs are well known for their predisposition for becoming overweight, and weight management is a high priority of these animals for any responsible keeper - so why did this poor lady have a food chute fitted to her pen for the visitors to pour unlimited amounts of food down all day long? This is clearly a case of putting profit before animal welfare, there is no advantage to any captive animal having unlimited access to food, but huge advantage to Knockhatch's profit as they're selling the food to visitors at 50p a cup.
Feeling rather depressed I moved across to an indoor barn where a lone emu baby paced constantly up and down its small enclosure cheeping sadly. A donkey sported a huge bald patch on its neck where it had either rubbed it due to an irritation or where it had become bald from constantly forcing its head out through the slats of its pen to chow down more unlimited food from the visitors.
Next to the donkey was a goat whose scurfy, flaky coat was highly suggestive of a lice infestation, or perhaps a skin allergy caused by the unlimited barley it was being fed.
Around the corner from this was the worst sight so far, a turkey hen with a hugely swollen, pus filled eye that is clearly a sinus/respiratory infection. This bird should have immediately been isolated and treated. It is incredibly poor bio security to leave any sick animal in with others and exposed to the public who could easily spread the infection among other animals at the attraction, or worse, take it home to any birds they may keep themselves.
Also in that pen was a turkey stag who clearly had a problem with his legs and was unable to move in anything but a painful looking shuffle that required his wings to help balance him. I can only imagine how hard it must be for him to get to the food and water in such a large area.
Moving on I saw a sheep with a neck wound - another sad by-product of animals forcing their necks through fencing to get at the food visitors are encouraged to buy and feed.
Towards the end of the depressing tour of animals was a pen of coatis, one of which was displaying typically stressed behaviour of a captive wild animal as it relentlessly and ceaselessly paced the same route over and over and over.
After a thoroughly hideous burger and a cup of coffee that looked and tasted as though it had been made with ditch water, we headed home all feeling very depressed.
I emailed Knockhatch with my concerns, and received an extremely brief and totally unsatisfactory reply. They did admit they had 'let slip' but also said that because their vet had been there 2 months ago, these issues 'must have flared up recently.'
Two months is more than enough time for issues even more serious than these to rear their heads, and from the tone of the email, it seemed as though the staff were unaware that in between the quarterly vet visits, THEY are responsible for checking the animals health and welfare.
I can only hope that bringing it to their attention will mean something is done for the poor animals there, but I won't be returning to find out!
Summary: Avoid at all cost!
- White Post Farm Centre (Farnsfield)
- Monks Park Farm (Yorkshire)
- Wetlands Animal Park (Nottinghamshire)
- Marine Aquarium (Lyme Regis)
- Crocodiles of the World (Oxfordshire)
- The Circus Space (London)
- Marwell Wildlife Park (Winchester, Hants)
- Seaview Wildlife Encounter (Isle of Wight)
- The Needles Park (Isle of Wight)
- Butterfly World & Fountain World (Isle of Wight)