Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters
The UVic rabbits are getting more press. It's an issue that's not going away.
Rescuing UVic's rascally rabbits
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Kerrie-Ann Schoenit -
Saanich News (online),
In my conversation with an employee working at Petcetera's Victoria store I was informed that they currently have 11 baby rabbits for sale, all supplied by breeders. This prompted the following letter:
September 8, 2008
It is with great concern that despite Petcetera agreeing to stop sales of intact baby rabbits and serve as a satellite adoption centre for sterilized rabbits supplied by the BC SPCA, the promise has been breached. It's been one year since ALL stores were to stop stocking bunnies supplied by breeders.
With the ongoing news regarding the UVic rabbits, it's totally reprehensible and socially irresponsible, Mr Urbani, that you haven't done the right thing and voluntarily stopped rabbit sales. This certainly can't be condoned by the BC SPCA, is it? And where is the leadership of the SPCA in asking that BC municipalities introduce legislation banning the sale/adoption of unsterilized rabbits?
How about asking for zero breeding of animals with 'overpopulation' issues? Certainly proactive measures are far more cost-effective and humane than the alternative of dumping the unwanted into the environment or brought to the SPCA where many a rabbit's life has ended.
Today I contacted the Victoria Petcetera and was informed that eleven baby rabbits are for sale and that staff cannot verify gender. Of course not; the bunnies are too young. Even qualified personnel would be challenged to make an accurate determination. Petcetera rabbits are sold with a "no-sex guarantee" to the public, the vast majority of whom are inexperienced and unprepared to provide proper care or a lifetime commitment to these rabbits.
Therefore I ask foremost for the sake of the rabbits, that sales immediately cease and efforts concentrated into preventative actions.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Comment: It's nice to hear of people like Lesley Sanford, who go out of their way to help the UVic rabbits, and of store owners like Lisa Nitkin, who have voluntarily decided to do what's socially responsible, and that is to stop selling "cheap, unfixed rabbits." Too bad Petcetera, the BC SPCA's business partner, hasn't done the same.
Be a voice for the rabbits - Let Petcetera, the BC SPCA, and Victoria City Council know your thoughts.
Releasing domestic rabbits into the environment is a criminal offence under the Criminal Code of Canada and an offence under the PCA Act. The BC Government considers them to be an "alien invasive species", yet domestic cats and dogs are not categorized as such.
Comment: It's no surprise that we haven't heard back from Petcetera and the BC SPCA regarding our concerns about unsterilized baby rabbits being sold in pet stores. We visited the Victoria store during the last week of September 2008, and sure enough, baby rabbits. Holland Lops, supplied by the Dragon Trading Corp. and Netherland Dwarf Rabbits, supplied by Live Small Animals, were selling for $44.99.