Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters


Ordinances Protecting Rabbits

Jun 11, 2013 House Rabbit Society Activist Corner

Following are the laws that we know of in North America that deal with and protect pet rabbits:

State Laws

  • North Carolina, Indiana, Virginia, Florida, and Vermont ban the sale of unweaned rabbits, or rabbits under 2 months of age.
  • Colorado bans the sale of rabbits under the age of 4 weeks.
  • New Jersey, California, Kentucky, South Carolina, Maine, Maryland, Montana, and Pennsylvania ban the dying of rabbits and other animals and the sale or giveaway of rabbits under 2 months of age.
  • North Dakota, DC, Illinois, Arkansas, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Washington, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Louisiana, and Ohio prohibit the sale of dyed rabbits and other animals.
  • DC bans the sale of pet rabbits under the age of 16 weeks.
  • Pennsylvania bans the sale of rabbits and other animals in public places.
  • Vermont and California prohibit the sale of rabbits and other animals on the side of the road.
  • Alabama, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin all have laws prohibiting the give away of rabbits and other animals as prizes in carnivals or other events (although sometimes those laws only specify the giveaway of very young animals).
  • California is considering banning the sale of rabbits (and other animals) at flea markets and swap meets in 2013.

 City  and County Laws

  • Aurora, CO has a mandatory spay/neuter ordinance that includes rabbits. They also have a pet limit law of two rabbits. Pet owners can get an exception to these laws by purchasing a breeder or kennel license.
  • San Francisco, CA prohibits the sale of pet rabbits in the city and county.
  • Los Angeles, CA prohibits the sale of pet rabbits and other animals in the cityís pet stores.
  • The county of Bernalillo, NM prohibits the sale of rabbits as companion animals (i.e. pet stores cannot sell rabbits in the county). Sale of all rabbits is banned during the months of March and April (this eliminates impulse sales for Easter).  This does not apply to the city of Albuquerque, which bans cat and dog sales but allows rabbit sales.
  • Richmond, BC prohibits the sale of pet rabbits in the city.
  • Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austin, and Houston, TX all ban the sale of rabbits and other animals in public places.
  • In Louisiana, St. Tammany Parish, the Archdiocese of New Orleans, and the city of Slidell all forbid giving away rabbits and other animals as prizes.
  • Any Arizona county with a population of 800,000 or more prohibits the sale of rabbits or any other animals on or near any public highway, street or park.
  • San Diego, CA is considering banning the sale of rabbits (as well as cats and dogs) from pet stores in 2013.

June 20, 2018 New Pet Ordinance Passed By Las Vegas City Council

In an effort to reduce the prominence of puppy mill animals and lower the number of unwanted animals due to overbreeding, a new ordinance has been approved by the City Council.

Spay & Neuter Requirements - The new ordinance requires the spaying and neutering of ferrets, rabbits, and potbellied pigs over the age of four months; this is already required for dogs and cats. https://medium.com/@CityOfLasVegas/new-pet-ordinance-passed-by-city-council-b5238903528f

April 18, 2019 California Bans Impulse Easter Bunny Purchases to Protect Numerous Rabbits Abandoned Each Year

In an effort to prevent these reckless animal purchases, and to crack down on puppy & kitten mills, California banned the sale of commercially bred cats, dogs, and rabbits from pet stores. Any cat, dog or rabbit available at a CA pet store now has to come from an animal shelter or rescue. The ban was signed in 2017, but didnít come into effect until January 1, 2019 so stores could prepare. (Source: PEOPLE

The Rabbit Advocacy Group has presented to various councils on this very matter many times over the years. There is a high cost to society, both morally and financially, when companion animals are abandoned to the outdoors or elsewhere. Rabbit breeders lobbied municipalities to prevent changes to bylaws that would stop rabbit sales in retail outlets. Unfortunately, this small minority had some success in BC areas until politicians woke up to the realities of impulse buys and the dumping that followed. Regulations arenít uniform across BC and until there is a massive shift in consciousness nothing will really change. Visit our News/PSAs page for more.

Read more: ALDF Companion animals are irreplaceable members of the family

BC pet stores receive complaints; Doggie World, Puppy Paradise under fire, new BC Bill M214 hits roadblock, reintroduced 2016

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