“Mini-cows”, miniature donkeys and dwarf pigs… Why animal protection associations are worried about this new trend on social networks

Coming straight from the United States, the “fashion” of “mini-animals” is increasingly popular lately on TikTok and Instagram in particular. At the alert point the vigilance of animal protection associations.



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TikTok posts featuring miniature cows.  (SCREENSHOT / TIKTOK)

A new trend has invaded social networks in recent months: that of miniature animals. Videos or photos of pigs, donkeys, cows and small rabbits are shared millions of times. The hashtags “#minicows” and “#tinycows” – meaning “mini-cows” – are proliferating on TikTok and Instagram. A trend coming straight from the United States and against which French animal protection associations are trying to warn.

French actor Pierre Niney recently shared videos on social media of his new four-legged companion: a miniature donkey. “I broke down… he said. In 48 hours he’ll be sleeping in my room, I think.” Or : “You didn’t know this, but you need a miniature donkey.”

Like him, thousands of Internet users are seduced by small farm animals. Some, to the point of having them live in an apartment, like real pets. There are many miniature cows on TikTok parading indoors, lying on a sofa, cuddled like dogs or cats.

Up to 4,000 euros for a miniature donkey

If the reduced-size animals are indeed cute and the French actor is not accused of mistreatment, this trend is not without risk. Particularly because buyers are often poorly informed of their specificities. As an adult, a mini-cow measures on average one meter but weighs up to 450kg. Dwarf pigs measure up to 60cm and weigh between 35 and 80kg.

Pigs, cows and donkeys cannot be raised as pets. They present the needs of farm animals, particularly in terms of food, and are obviously not intended to roam around an apartment.

The 30 million friends Foundation warns of this trend which “like any fashion phenomenon linked to animals, leads – very often – to favorite acquisitions which unfortunately end in abandonment or mistreatment due to a lack of understanding of the needs of the breed or through weariness.”

The association adds that these animals are “obtained by genetic selection which can lead to deviations and increase the risk of disease for the animals concerned. Any physical selection causing specific health problems.” In France, to acquire a miniature donkey, you need to count between 2,500 and 4,000 euros. A miniature cow of the Highland Cattle breed costs between 1,500 and 2,000 euros.

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