Monday, July 5, 2010

Too Many Feral Rabbits in Headlines

There seems to be a lot of nasty headlines lately about feral rabbits. The one thing that strikes me is that the rabbits are being blamed. Terms such as “nuisance,” “public health issue,” to more dramatic like “hatred” and “war” are being thrown around. Hold your horses (or rabbits), the problem is people. It is people who dump their rabbits outdoors when they no longer want them as pets. I think the phrase “irresponsible pet owners” misses the point. “Ignorant pet owners” is a better description and it doesn’t mean anyone is stupid. People just don’t know abandoning domesticated rabbits is inhumane on many levels.
Persistent education of all potential and current pet rabbit owners could make a big difference. Some municipalities are considering requiring neutering and spaying of all pet rabbits sold. Also, in some places halting sales of rabbits altogether is being discussed as a solution. I am sure education is the preferred choice of everyone involved with rabbit sales before other measures are taken. For many years Hopperhome included a web page on the perils to rabbits when they are released into the wild. Recently, I revamped the web page and made it into a color flyer (or black and white) that anyone can download to give to someone considering getting a rabbit. I encourage it wholeheartedly. I would like to see feral rabbit news become old news.