Posts Tagged 'bunnies'

Grey area

Activists intervening in University of Victoria rabbit cull.

. . . activists have been videotaping the trappers as they collect the live rabbits. On Monday, they started freeing animals that had been trapped.

“I care because these animals fall into a grey area,” said Carson. “They aren’t pets. They aren’t wildlife. And I’m tired of people writing them off as wildlife.”

The group is also worried about poison boxes that have been set up to control mice and rats. They say young rabbits are attracted to the bait and are small enough to get into the boxes.

“They’re obviously investigating and ingesting and dying all over the campus,” said Carson. “I saw three last night. Dead babies.”

94 down

University of Victoria in the middle of a quiet cull.

Tom Smith said 94 rabbits have been humanely captured from the area around the athletic fields and euthanized off site since May 8.

The new “pilot project” was a response to the failed attempt in January to trap, spay and relocate 150 rabbits. Since then, the population has surpassed the 2000 mark and Smith said the university had to move ahead with a cull, despite public controversy.

“Right now a cull is what will get us to that point of having a manageable rabbit population,” Smith said.

Bunny bylaw

District of North Vancouver bans intact bunnies.

Kim Marosevich, manager of the district’s animal shelter, told council that she receives regular requests for help from families who purchased a pet rabbit that was not the gender advertised or, in some cases, already pregnant.

“Some of these rabbits find their way to the shelter or to community-based rescue associations,” she wrote in her report. “Some are abandoned at the shelter or in a park. Our facility is at capacity as they are challenging animals to find homes for.”

Best interests

University of Victoria strives to treat research animals humanely.  (As for those bunnies on campus…)

“We use the least number of animals possible but enough animals to make the experiment worth while,” said Scheurle . . ..

Scheurle says that it is important for UVic students to know that Animal Care Services has the best interests of the animals at heart.

“We don’t want to use animals unless its really necessary and that hopefully there is benefit both to people and to animals from going forward with this,” he said. 

Frustrating case

Charges laid following seizure of 589 bunnies.

Over the last several months, the family surrendered 542 additional rabbits, which were generally healthier than those seized in March. The majority of those rabbits were put up for adoption.

Randolph said this one house on Haliburton has provided the society with the majority of the rabbits it has put up for adoptions over the last 18 months. In 2008, the society put 312 rabbits up for adoption; in 2009, it put up 432 rabbits.

The society averaged 55 rabbit adoptions a year prior to 2008.

Randolph could not discuss why one family had so many domesticated rabbits. She said during a followup visit, officers found grounds to seize the animals under the Animal Protection Act.

“If we had the rights to seize the animals earlier, we would have,” Randolph said. “This has been a very frustrating case for the Animal Humane Society.”

Bunny brainstorm

Readers offer ideas for dealing with University of Victoria’s rabbits.

Rabbits used to freedom will not thrive in captivity. There are no animal-welfare organizations in the Victoria area or on the Lower Mainland that have havens or sanctuaries for these rabbits.

Unless someone offers appropriate acreage for free-roaming sterilized rabbits, there is only one solution that accords with the values of this university. Let us model humane ways in dealing with the innocent and vulnerable.

Give the sterilized rabbits back their freedom and return them to their home at UVic, where they are part of the culture. 

UVic is implementing a program to catch and sterilize the rabbits, but I wonder if something can be done at the source of the problem. Couldn’t municipalities regulate the sale of rabbits by crafting a bylaw to prohibit unsterilized rabbits being sold in pet stores? The cost would be passed on to the consumer, which might deter some from the spontaneous purchase of an animal.



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