Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters
Kelowna’s rabbits exterminated under cover of darkness
Comment: There’s tremendous outrage over the execution of Kelowna’s feral rabbit population. Despite overwhelming support to save the rabbits, through deceit and bungling by city officials, EBB became the hired killers. Calls and letters to EBB have been largely ignored.
Kelowna rabbit cull underway
The rabbit cull has begun in Kelowna.
Bunnies being felled by air gun
September 19, 2008 Don Plant, Kelowna Daily Courier
A contractor hired to trim Kelowna‘s
feral-rabbit population has spent at least two nights shooting the animals with
an air rifle.
Getting a straight answer
To the editor: (Castanet online news) September
What does it take to get a straight answer from Mayor Shepherd, Ian Wilson, the City's urban forester, and EBB Environmental Consulting senior Biologist, Oliver Busby? On June 5, 2008 the BCSPCA sent a letter to city council voicing their concerns about recent reports that inhuman methods of killing were being proposed. In part the letter states that,
"EBB has confirmed that they will use one of three methods to kill the rabbits:
BCSPCA confirmed, upon consultation with the BC Veterinary Medical Association, that the above killing methods are not acceptable and may violate provincial and federal humane legislation.
I'm sure that Mayor Shepherd and Ian Wilson would be happy to provide a copy of that letter to the media. Apparently the concerns of the BCSPCA and other animal rights groups were of no concern to city council. Upon pressure from the public and animal rights groups to reveal the methods EBB would be using Mr. Wilson granted an interview to Castanet, (see Castanet story #41121 dated Aug 13,2008.)
Rabbit cull methods revealed
In that article, Ian Wilson with the City of Kelowna said that three methods would be used. He claims that the first method would be live trapping followed by providing the live animals to rescue groups and wildlife shelters. Tell me Mr. Wilson, exactly how many live rabbits has EBB trapped and to which organizations have they been given?
"The second one is live trapping followed by lethal injection, which is akin to putting an animal down in a veterinary facility." He makes no mention of what type of lethal injection would be used and who would be administering that injection. Since EBB is already on the record stating that they use dry ice then I must assume that that is what they will be using. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, "the use of dry ice to kill an animal would cause significant suffering."
The third method is the use of an air rifle. Mr. Wilson claims that he is unsure of what projectile would be used. Isn't it your job Mr. Wilson, to know exactly what, when and how EBB would be handling the "job" you and mayor Sheppard are paying them to do?
Why would city council approve of the methods that would cause these animals undue suffering and pain? Why wasn't TRACS informed the cull had begun? What is city council and EBB afraid of?
I submit to you that city council and EBB do not want the public to know what methods they are using because they don't care that the animals may be suffering, they just want to be rid of the problem.
Val Schewe - Kelowna
A whole city full of rotten tomatoes to the City of Cullowna, formerly known as Kelowna, which has chosen to shoot the rabbits that have been living there for years - thanks as always to the stupidity of people who should not be allowed to own rabbits.
The saddest roses of the whole summer to the animal organization that tried so hard to protect the rabbits by finding them sanctuaries and saving them from such unnecessary slaughter.
Another heap of rotten tomatoes to the SPCA for once again not preventing that kind of cruelty to animals and, yes, rabbits are in fact animals! I guess the SPCA only protects stuffed animals/rabbits these days!
Stay of execution for Kelowna’s surviving bunnies?
September 20, 2008
According to a September 19th CHBC TV report, “the shooting of Kelowna's feral rabbits may be over now, and an animal rights group may get its turn to try and deal with the problem.”
There is some cautious optimism that the huge public backlash against the city hiring EBB to exterminate the bunnies will give TRACS the opportunity to humanely capture, sterilize, and remove them to safe environments. There has been tremendous support from a wide network of individuals, animal advocacy groups, and businesses to save these critters.
The public has spoken. Hopefully the message has been heard, loud and clear, at City Hall.
Comment: The BC SPCA confirmed in June, upon consultation with the BC Veterinary Medical Association, that injecting the rabbits with dry ice, drowning, or gassing them are not acceptable killing methods and may violate provincial and federal humane legislation.
If nursing females are being callously snuffed out, dependent baby rabbits will slowly die of starvation in the warrens, contravening the Cruelty Act, Sec. 446. If the shot rabbits do not immediately die, this too would be considered cruelty.
Also, releasing domestic rabbits into the wild is a criminal act under the Criminal Code of Canada and an offence under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act.
Bunnies: shoot'em and leave 'em?
To the editor: (Castanet online news), September 21, 2008
It's bad enough that City Hall
ignored less cruel options that were available regarding the rabbits - now they
hire an ex-cop to work at night, shooting them and the guy isn't removing them
once he's done target practice? He's leaving them to rot and for people to come
Yvonne Perry - Kelowna
Kelowna's feral rabbit population
To the editor:
Mayor and Council:
How outrageous of the City of Kelowna to approve the hiring of EBB to annihilate the feral domestic rabbits and their offspring from certain areas of the community. This has been a controversial and contentious issue for many residents, animal advocates, and others, who find it unfitting in today’s society, that lethal methods would even be considered an option, when humane proposals from other groups were put forth. TRACS bid came in under EBB’s and has widespread support.
EBB, on the other hand, has been less than forthcoming in the information they provided, and it’s now revealed that an air-rifle has been used to exterminate the rabbits, their third method on the list. Working with rescue groups to place the captured rabbits was the first option. Why haven’t they kept their word? City officials certainly didn’t do their homework before awarding this outfit the contract. Clearly, in light of the horrific information that barbaric methods of killing by injecting the rabbits with dry ice, drowning, or gassing them were part of the plan, it’s a company operating without scruples. Is council endorsing cruelty and suffering to animals? Why the lack of openness and accountability to its citizens by informing them of such a hare-brained scheme?
Going out under the cover of darkness to stalk and kill the victims of a human-made “problem” is not only cowardly, it’s clear that this type of secrecy has the public seeing red. Taxpayer money has been squandered on lethal methods, which all research has proven, is ineffective. Shooting won’t get rid of rabbits. Rabbit prevention strategies and techniques, such as exclusion barriers like fencing, tree wrapping, and habitat modification are workable, as are planting garlic, catnip, or lavender, since rabbits are repelled by the scent.
Research being done at a number of institutions like Murdoch University in Australia indicate that genetically engineering plants like tobacco and clover will help reduce rabbit fertility. Closer to home, research at a Halifax University, scientists have developed a feed that sterilized deer (and possibly rabbits) for 10 years with a single feeding.
Education programs and bylaws that would restrict the breeding and selling of intact rabbits are essential to a multi-pronged approach that would incrementally and humanely reduce rabbit populations. Pet stores, the source of impulse buys, must immediately cease selling baby bunnies and breeders of “show animals” should be required to license their “stock.” Addressing the sources, and implementing proactive measures, will yield positive results. As will the reporting of people who dump their pets.
Considering all the available help and network of people willing to work in a collaborative effort to save the rabbits, it’s time for council to move forward, and get on track, a track that is ethical, humane and respectful of all its inhabitants.
Carmina Gooch, President
Note: Through our actions and by challenging the status quo we are bringing about positive change for our animal friends. Join us in our efforts.
Comment: There’s a federal election in October and a civic election in November. Make animal welfare an election issue. Help stop cruelty. Contact your candidates!
Culling of rabbits in Kelowna sparks police probe
Police are investigating allegations that the way hired contractors cull feral rabbits in Kelowna constitutes animal cruelty.
Kelowna city council contracted EBB Environmental Consulting Inc. in May to eliminate about 2,000 rabbits following complaints that the animals had swarmed the city's lawns and parks in recent years.
Gwenda Garrett, a security guard working in the city, told CBC News on Monday that while on patrol Saturday morning, she saw a man shooting a feral rabbit, then two people stomping on the animal's head."The bunny was flopping around on the grass and a female got out of the passenger side of the truck. She went over to where the bunny was. She stomped on it really hard four times," Garrett said.
"It was still flopping around because it didn't die yet. Then the driver of the truck went over and stomped on it twice and it still didn't die. And then he crouched down and I believe I watched him break the rabbit's neck."She reported the case to Kelowna RCMP, who are investigating to see whether there is evidence of animal cruelty.
"Because there is a section of the … Criminal Code that deals with cruelty to animals, we will be looking at it solely from that perspective and deciding whether or not enough evidence exists to satisfy [the] Crown that a charge should be laid," Const. Steve Holmes said. "It all has to do with the interpretation of how the bunnies met their fate and the method used, and obviously, to people it appears to be very inhumane."
Municipal forester Ian Wilson said the city is looking into the case, adding that the workers from EBB were just doing their job. One method being used to cull the rabbits is to shoot them with an air gun, he said.
"They use this high-power rifle that would kill the animal instantaneously, [but] there is sometimes a little bit of twitching or movement in the animals," Wilson said. "Normally, with a single shot, it does put down the animal quite quickly and humanely. I think that's the definition of humanely, as quickly and with as little suffering for the animal as possible," he said.
EBB said the rabbit in question was dead or close to death and its muscles were twitching, so the worker simply broke its neck to finish the job.
The city is spending $54,000 on a one-year contract to get rid of the animals.The B.C. SPCA has said that while it doesn't condone the killing of animals, the rabbit situation in Kelowna is a huge problem.
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Rabbit stomping shocks witness
September 30, 2008 Daily Courier Staff
A rabbit was stomped to death
on the weekend, but the head of the company hired to cull them said that was an
unusual action that was taken to put the animal out of its suffering.
The incident was witnessed by security guard Gwenda Garrett at 2:30 a.m. on
September 30, 2008
Mayor and Council,
There's widespread outrage over the current news of a rabbit being stomped on multiple times before having its neck broken by the hired contractor for the City of Kelowna. Firstly, EBB should never have been awarded the contract, and now the concerns raised by animal welfarists and the public regarding the killing methods have proven to come true. An air rifle will not guarantee a "clean kill" and when you have an inept shooter, there's bound to be pain and suffering, not a quick and humane death. I wonder if any of you can imagine being killed in this manner. I sincerely hope there is enough evidence for animal cruelty charges to be brought forward under the Criminal Code of Canada.
Despite Mr Busby's assertion that the rabbit was mortally wounded and did not suffer, I don't believe it. Writhing around on the ground and being kicked in the head before having one's neck snapped, indicates a gruesome and inhumane end. Is this how Kelowna deals with its unwanted pet population? After all, these are rabbits of the European variety, companion animals and their offspring, that have been dumped outdoors. Bred and sold as pets, just like cats and dogs.
I strongly urge council to call off this senseless slaughter before further victims meet their fate in such a way. Who knows how many more met their end under similar circumstances.
Bad News! We've just learned that the RCMP will not be pursuing charges against the shooter and that EBB's method of murder may be switched to clubbing.
Read more: Fury over rabbit stomping