As someone that is generally interested in hamster care issues worldwide, I try to keep up on what is happening on various social media channels and one of the debates that I have seen crop up is the debate about how ethical it really is to actively chose to breed hamsters when there are plenty of hamsters in rescue waiting for a good home and to some people the solution to this is to ban all breeding, ethical or otherwise. I think that this would be nearly impossible to really regulate so it’s not a realistic suggestion but I believe that this also has a down side for hamsters in general.
The hamster on the right is Nero and he is a Purebred Winter White. He illustrates just what we’d be losing if all breeding were to be banned. many people know that in many countries there is no such thing as a purebred Winter White or Campbells because the only ‘Russian’ type hamsters that exist have been bred from stock originating from the rodent farms that may or may not know that the Campbells and the Winter White are an entirely different species. If it weren’t for the work of reputable breeders, the two species would eventually die out, leaving Hybrids that are known to be more prone to various health problems.
As someone who specialises primarily in Chinese Hamsters I have often been told on social media by people in the USA and Canada that they have never seen a Chinese Hamster because they are so uncommon. I think if there weren’t the breeders working with them here, the situation would be much the same. Do we really want to stop those three species from ever being kept as pets?
I don’t feel that stopping people from going to breeders is not the answer to reducing the amount of small animals in rescue, it’s the way that small animals are sold in pet shops that is the problem. At the moment hamsters and other small animals are able to be sold to pretty much anyone who sees one in a pet shop and thinks it’s cute. Some pet shops may ask a series of short questions but that still doesn’t encourage much real thought into what caring for this animal really involves on a day to day basis. When the novelty of having a new pet wears off, this small animal, that was so easy to purchase is then discarded and the animal ends up in rescue.