A study undertaken by the Department for Work and Pensions has found that a disproportionate number of animals in the UK are still being confined to the most menial of jobs, and are repeatedly passed over for promotion. While it is not uncommon to see positions such as ‘sniffer dog’ and ‘lab rat’ filled by animals, the findings claim that very few make it beyond these entry level positions.
A recent change in employment law made it illegal to discriminate against animals in favour of graduates, so the report will come as a surprise to many, but some say that this matches their own experiences.
‘I worked for a pharmaceutical company for many years and, despite repeatedly applying for other roles, stayed in the same position from the day I joined,’ said a rabbit, who wished to remain anonymous. ‘They were happy enough to test out products by squirting them in my eyes to see if I went blind, but when the chief chemical engineer retired I wasn’t even given an interview for his job.’
A sniffer dog who worked at Heathrow for seven years had a similar story to tell.
‘It was made very clear from the start that my job was just to sniff at passengers and their luggage to try and find drugs or explosives. There was no career progression whatsoever and I was given no opportunities to expand my skill set. I was constantly excluded from planning meetings and in the end I decided I had no option but to look for something elsewhere. I finally found my vocation as head of chewing up suitcases under the baggage carousel. It’s a difficult job, but hey, someone has to do it.’
DWP’s report has recommended that the UK look to more closely follow the model laid out for animals in the US, where a shaved chimp recently served two terms as president. It is not all bad news for UK animals though, and there are opportunities out there, as the Downing Street cat explains.
‘I don’t see it as a problem at all, Dave often lets me help out with important policy decisions. Just the other day I vastly improved the planned overhaul of the NHS by clawing at the paper a bit and then pissing on it.’
Vertically Challenged Giant and Waylandsmithy