Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters


Parksville council mulls rabbit ‘cull’

June 20, 2012 Parksville Qualicum Beach News

After establishing an admittedly largely symbolic bylaw against feeding deer in March, Parksville city council is wondering what to do with the abundance of rabbits.

The discussion was sparked by a petition received from Jack and Doreen Moore with 51 names asking that "laws be implemented to deal with this problem and the city cull them."

The petition is specifically about the large population in the area of Foxtail and Ironwood avenues and Strawberry Crescent in the southwest corner of the city off Hirst Avenue, but council agreed they are common in many areas. The petition points out that the bylaw officer is unable to do anything due to a lack of specific laws.

Mayor Chris Burger pointed out that the issue is complicated by the fact that most of the problem is on private property, plus there could be a protected species of rabbit in the area. He said he does hear frequent complaints, the biggest concern being digging up yards and trails and fears of a real population explosion.

There have been aggressive measures to deal with feral rabbit populations in some B.C. cities, most notably a mass removal from the University of Victoria (many of which were moved to Coombs, penned and neutered) and a cull in Kelowna.

Councillor Marc Lefebvre proposed a motion to do something about the large population, which was broadened into asking staff to report back on various options. While no cull has yet been ordered, city council will be debating the issue at upcoming meetings.

NB: The Kelowna kill was stopped due to public outcry and the contract awarded to TRACS.

June 22 at 4:10 pm Carmina Gooch: There are plenty of proactive measures such as breeding regulations, education, and banning the sale of unsterilized rabbits in pet stores that will help prevent situations like this in the first place. Certainly we've evolved beyond such a draconian mindset to think that killing off innocent victims because of thoughtless and irresponsible humans will solve anything. Violence begets violence and also sends a poor message to our young people.   www.rabbitadvocacy.com

June 27, 2012 Carmina Gooch’s letter to Parksville officials and to the Parksville Qualicum News

To: Mayor Burger and Council; Fred Manson, CAO; Bylaws

Re: Parksville rabbit population 

Dear Mayor and Council, 

I am writing in regard to concerns raised by some residents about the number of abandoned pet rabbits  and their offspring  living in Parksville, with specific reference to the ones in the southwest corner of the city that are on private property. Source: Parksville council mulls rabbit cull June 20, 2012 Parksville Qualicum Beach News  

These rabbits are of the European variety, bred as companion animals and sold in pet stores, online, or through other venues. Just like dogs and cats bred for the industry, they most often come from mills or backyard breeders, and suffer the same deplorable conditions with little or no care provided. Profit is the motivation. These animals were abandoned by irresponsible and thoughtless owners, and now some vocal and uninformed residents want these animals to pay the ultimate price? I suggest that officials consider non-lethal measures only. A perceived quick fix in the name of a kill is costly, both morally and financially, ineffective, and ongoing. 

Additionally, an eradication of the rabbits will upset the balance of nature, impacting other species dependent on them as a food source. If, as Mayor Burger says, there could also be a protected species of rabbit in the area, they deserve to be safeguarded. 

Parksville is a tourist destination and our family and friends have always enjoyed the variety of animals and birds found in the area. Keep it that way and provide humane and ethical leadership on this issue. Surely you don’t want the negative publicity or a legal challenge that other communities faced when decision-makers announced the killing of rabbits or deer.    

Animal welfare and animal rights issues are of growing concern to the public, and as such, I strongly encourage the City of Parksville to implement new bylaws that would protect and improve the lives of rabbits and other animals, no matter how they are classified. Common sense, proactive measures like enforcement, licensing or regulating breeders, requiring that the sourcing of animals by provided to the consumer, pet identification systems, spay/neuter and adoption programs, education in schools or through animal shelters, as well as stopping the flow of animals from pet stores will benefit the animals, the consumer, the environment, and the community as a whole.  

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or remarks.

Read more: Action on Parksville rabbits called unlikely

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