(translated from the original French)
7 bd Tanneur
Mme Laure-Agnès Caradec
Adjointe au Maire
Hotel de Ville
Quai de Port
13233 Cedex 20 Marseille
18 April 2011
Subject : Pedagogical Farm, Roy d’Espagne
The evening of Friday, April 15th I had the opportunity to bring my family to the pedagogical farm located on rue Jules Rimet in the 9th arrondissement. I was delighted to show my children the sheep and the cows but I was concerned by one small matter.
The animals at the farm are penned using a type of electric fencing that emits small but painful shocks. As you can imagine, when children see sheep or cows they tend to excitedly rush forward and press up against the fences to get as close to the animals as possible. Under these circumstances, it is extremely difficult for parents to keep their children from touching the electric fencing and, despite great vigilance exhibited by all, during the course of my visit four young children received electric shocks and three parents received electric shocks while trying to stop their children from touching the fencing.
As one of the parents who received an electric shock, I can say that it was an unpleasant experience. Moreover, our entire outing to the farm was tarnished because of the constant worry that my children were going to receive electric shocks. Furthermore, it seems to me an electric fence is contradictory to the pedagogical farm’s stated mission of familiarizing city children with farm animals. The young children who were shocked by the electric fencing seemed so upset that I imagine they would never want to visit the pedagogical farm – or any other farm – again.
I suggest the pedagogical farm considers replacing their electric fencing with a more-child friendly barrier.