BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > RESCUE EFFORTS FOR SHELTERS > UVic unveils plan to rid campus of 1,400 feral rabbits
Last Post by Petzy at 10/28/2010 6:53 AM (38 Replies)
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User is Offline Andi
B.C. Canada
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6/29/2010 9:24 AM

http://www.vancouversun.com/technol...story.html

Four "rabbit control" quadrants will exist for about 200 total rabbits.
 

Victoria, B.C. - The University of Victoria announced plans Monday to cull, or sterilize and relocate 1,400 rabbits that have overrun the campus.

About 200 rabbits will be allowed to stay on university grounds within Ring Road.

The surplus rabbits are to be removed by a contractor using traps. The captured rabbits either will be sterilized and relocated or euthanized by undisclosed methods. Community members who wish to accommodate sterilized rabbits can apply for a permit from the Ministry of Environment.

Details of UVic’s feral rabbit management plan were released yesterday, evoking a mixed reaction from those who advocate for the rabbits. “I feel positive in the sense that our success will be proportional to how the community responds,” said Susan Vickery of Common Ground, a Gulf Islands-based wildlife assistance organization.

A pilot program last winter failed because rescue organizations were unwilling to have their property and cages inspected to ensure ministry specifications were met.

Vickery is worried UVic’s plans will prompt some people to grab rabbits and take them home to “save” them. “I’m really hoping the university’s response and our engagement will redirect some of that energy, so people will get on board and work toward a positive result.”

Social-justice advocate Roslyn Cassells said she’s disappointed at UVic’s decision “when there’s a plethora of humane, non-lethal alternatives to them.

“We feel the university has lost their way and they need to catch up with the community, which is putting out really progressive, sustainable, economical and humane alternatives.”

The university’s plan sets out with military precision “rabbit-free” zones for playing fields and other areas outside Ring Road. The core of the campus inside the road will be declared “rabbit control zones,” with 50 rabbits allowed in each of four quadrants.

The plan “will resolve the university’s concerns,” said Tom Smith, UVic’s executive director of facilities management.

“It will reduce the population of rabbits in the short term to a number we consider sustainable … it’s a big reduction,” Smith said.

Anyone in the community can apply through the Ministry of Environment to provide a sanctuary for the feral rabbits. “Realistically, we hope there’s a capacity in the community to go through the permitting process and receive rabbits,” Smith said.

But there are far more rabbits on campus than prospective homes, he suggested. “I don’t think we’re fooling ourselves — I don’t think there’s the capacity out there for 1,000 rabbits.”

The surplus rabbits will be trapped. Those that can’t be accommodated in the community will be euthanized by a humane method recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association. Smith would not elaborate on methods being considered.

There are now about 400 rabbits living within the area circumscribed by Ring Road, Smith said, and removing half of them will improve conditions for survivors. “The concept is the food supply will better, the rabbits will be healthier. They’re still territorial, so generally we would expect them to stay where they are. And we’re hoping there’s a volunteer community who will come forward and create things like feeding stations.”

The plan is a test, he said. “If it’s still too many [rabbits], we’ll have to revisit it.”

UVic sent out letters to the veterinary community seeking their involvement in the future care of rabbits within Ring Road. The rabbit population “got out of hand” over the last few years, Smith said. “We certainly didn’t anticipate this increasing so fast.”

The number of rabbits that need to be killed or removed is unfortunate, Smith added. “We’re not happy at having to deal with this, but we’re also not prepared to wait for four or five years for a spay/neuter program to take effect.

“There’s lots of people who disapprove of it and we don’t like it ourselves, but it’s a decision the university has made.”

The plan will go into effect later in the summer and carry on through the winter months, Smith said.

Keeping 200 rabbits inside Ring Road “is probably a sustainable number,” Vickery said.

Organizations like Common Ground don’t have capacity to take on rabbits in the numbers UVic has to offer, so she applauds the university’s decision to open up relocation offers to the community.

The university’s neighbours are applauding the plan. “If people hadn’t abandoned their pets on campus, we wouldn’t be faced with this,” said Mike Wilmut, president of the North Henderson Residents’ Association, in a release.

“UVic is having to deal with the aftermath. Hopefully, some rabbits can be relocated by community groups but the rabbit population has grown too large for that to be the sole solution to keeping rabbits from migrating into campus neighbourhoods and other nearby areas.”

The B.C. SPCA is encouraging municipalities to pass laws prohibiting the sale of non-sterilized rabbits and abandonment of the animals.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/33678010/...ement-Plan" target="">UVic Feral Rabbit Management Plan



Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/technol...story.html#ixzz0sGu6xxnQ
 

 

My question is, the 200 left, are they going to spay/neuter them?
Because if not we're going to see this happening again. 

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User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
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6/29/2010 11:00 AM
It says they are going to try on the link that you posted and there is someone you can contact at the very end to clarify this.

User is Offline Andi
B.C. Canada
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6/29/2010 1:17 PM

Found it...

To manage these Rabbit Control Zones, the University will seek some form of community volunteer support to establish a program of trap / neuter / release or a male vasectomy program to reduce the population of those managed areas recognizing this may need to occur over a four to five year period.
The University will look to the public to support this initiative through financial and volunteer contributions.
The University will consider, with community support, the establishment of a feeding
program to reduce the damage to vegetation, and to encourage the rabbits to remain in these zones.

 

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User is Offline Petzy
Northern AB Canada
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7/02/2010 2:56 PM
I've been to Victoria and I couldn't believe it. There are feral bunnies just chilling at the side of the street. I saw a beautiful harlequin one I almost wanted to take him home.
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User is Offline Andi
B.C. Canada
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7/28/2010 9:54 AM

UPDATE:

http://www.vancouversun.com/technol...story.html

Bunnies plaguing B.C. university campus likely Texas-bound

VICTORIA — A unique roundup could be underway at the rabbit-plagued University of Victoria next month after a Texas rescue ranch offered to take up to 1,000 of the feral animals.

 

The university is planning to trap and either kill or sterilize and relocate about 1,400 rabbits that are overrunning the Vancouver Island campus.

 

Provincial regulations forbid adopting out feral rabbits, except to approved sanctuaries with permits, so rabbit advocates are scrambling to find placements.

 

"We called virtually every sanctuary we could find around North America, and we got to Texas and they said, 'OK, send them down,' " said Laura-Leah Shaw, a federal and provincial Green party candidate, who has been working to find places for the animals.

 

"If we can get something locally, that's fine. But if it's a choice to go to Texas or die, that's an easy choice," she added.

 

That means the critters are likely to soon be en route to The Wild Rose Rescue Ranch, a 20-hectare rehabilitation farm in eastern Texas.

 

However, Susan Vickery, of Common Ground, a Gulf Islands-based wildlife assistance organization, is simultaneously working on obtaining provincial permits for a new sanctuary at the World Parrot Refuge near Coombs, B.C.

 

Refuge owner Wendy Huntbatch has agreed to allow a space for up to 400 spayed and neutered UVic rabbits.

 

A $50,000 donation from the Fur-Bearer Defenders will pay for spaying and neutering all rabbits trapped, and Vickery has lined up 14 local veterinarians willing to help.

 

Georganne Lenham, founder and CEO of the Wild Rose Rescue Ranchm in the Tyler area of Texas, said she loves rabbits and knew she had to help when approached by Shaw.

 

Most animals at the ranch, ranging from pigeons to possums, are rehabilitated and released, but the UVic rabbits will be kept in special enclosures near the creek and woods, Lenham said.

 

"They will feel free and wild, but they will be protected," she said, adding they will be slowly acclimatized to the heat.

 

Lenham, a wildlife rehabilitator licensed by the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife, said there are no restrictions on importing domestic rabbits.

 

However, it is not so straightforward on the Canadian end.

 

B.C. Environment Minister Barry Penner could declare European domestic rabbits a controlled alien species and they would then be exempt from the Wildlife Act, meaning no relocation permits would be needed, Shaw said.

 

Environment ministry staff are reviewing an application for the export of 1,000 rabbits to Texas, said a spokeswoman. However, the province also needs a detailed export plan, a Wildlife Act possession permit and an import permit from Texas.

 

Meanwhile, Tom Smith, of the University of Victoria, says the school aims to trap 400 rabbits next month and, if licensed homes are available, they will be turned over as they are trapped.

 

"We hope not to kill them — that's a win-win for everyone — but we're going to stick with the plan for a significant reduction in August," he said.

 

The university has struggled with the ballooning rabbit population for two decades, most of them offspring from pets abandoned on the grounds. UVic says the bunnies destroy trees and shrubs, dig holes in athletics fields that are dangerous to athletes, and carpet the grass with droppings.

 

In June, the university released a management plan that called for 1,400 rabbits to be killed or sterilized and relocated to sanctuaries. About 200 will be allowed to stay on university grounds.

 

Victoria Times Colonist
 

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User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
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7/28/2010 12:45 PM
Wow, that is quite a haul! She is about 2 and a half hours from me. That is very cool if she can arrange for transport them.

User is Offline RabbitPam
South Florida
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7/28/2010 1:19 PM
Why are they allowing 200 to stay on campus? Will they be speutered first? If not, they will be overrun in a matter of months.
 photo CarrotCrop100x500BBSiggy_zps0f2147e4.jpg Have your people call my people. We'll do carrots.

User is Offline jerseygirl
Australia
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7/28/2010 3:55 PM

Big Kudos to all those stepping up to help! That texas sanctury applying to take 1000 is amazing. So typical bureaucrats might end up foiling that plan! Grrrrr!

Question:
 

Provincial regulations forbid adopting out feral rabbits


What's this about? Is there more info on this somewhere?


I also question the idea behind the remaining 200 RP. They also need to look seriously at penalties in dumping the rabbits if they haven't already, otherwise they'll be right back in this predicament. Surely they know this right?


I've been sort following the UVic situation & appreciate the update.

Whoever says "It's only a rabbit" has obviously never loved a rabbit.

User is Offline Andi
B.C. Canada
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7/29/2010 11:41 AM
They start the ones captured to be released will be neutered. But I question what about spaying the females? is this included? If not I see a bad thing happening AGAIN.

How about changing the laws on dumping in the first place? Nothing is done there People will continue to dump them, and if in the designated area (new dumped bucks breeding the old not spayed does?) we could have more breeding, and if in the not designated the animals may be killed.

The lady spear heading this went into the pilot project head on without heeding the warnings and the result was failure and UVic decided to cull. And now teaming up with World Parrot refuge, who apparently i read were looking at having to close as they could not afford to operate and then this is the latest - http://www.bclocalnews.com/vancouver_island_central/parksville_qualicumbeachnews/business/95810444.html
http://www.cyber-spy.com/ebooks/ebooks/World-Parrot-Refuge-In-Danger-Of-Being-Shutdown-(ebook).pdf
These people are pretty much on the brinks of going under, why are they looking at taking on RABBITS? It's great to help, but are we going to be looking for new homes just down the road from now ocne again for these poor critters?

They talk about Volunteering carinf for the remaining rabbits with food and water stations... who are these Volunteers adn where are they going to get them?

So many questions, and to me it seems people helping aren't really digging deep, or have the experiance with the animals. I hope they are successful because really now the *world* is watching and if they succeed, they pave the way for more successes but if they fail, they shut the door for any other attempts. It stinks

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User is Offline RabbitPam
South Florida
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7/29/2010 12:02 PM
Actually, Andi, in the non=profit sector it wouldn't be unheard of to publicly make a generous offer like this and then ask for donations to pay for it. A local TV crew would probably do a piece on it, and that sometimes has a way of getting checks to come in the door, so it would save them. It's kind of putting the cart before the horse, but might work. The world watching supposedly could work to their advantage in getting funds.
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User is Offline Andi
B.C. Canada
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8/04/2010 8:55 AM

B.C. court slaps injunction on UVic's planned bunny massacre

Victoria - The Canadian Press Published on Wednesday, Aug. 04, 2010
9:04AM EDT

The University of Victoria says it has been served with a B.C. Supreme
Court injunction preventing it from attempting to trap and cull feral
rabbits munching through its Victoria, B.C., campus.

Trapping has been suspended while the university deals with the court
action but a statement from UVic also says it continues to work with
community groups trying to find new homes for some of the 1,600 bunnies.

A spokesman for the groups says the injunction provides some breathing
room, because members believe the university planned to cull the rabbits
before arrangements could be made to move them.

Gino Schifrin says a farm in Coombs, north of Nanaimo, has offered to
take some of the bunnies and a rescue organization in Texas is prepared
to take 1,000 of the critters.

But he says red tape has stalled efforts to obtain the necessary permits
to ship the rabbits to their new homes.

As the Globe and Mail reported, the centrepiece of the original plan are
two zones - a "safe zone" in the centre of campus and a "dead zone"
around residences, sports fields and nearby neighbourhoods.

Two hundred of the fuzzy creatures will be allowed to live in the
40-hectare safe zone within the perimeter of Ring Road. Food will be
provided to entice the bunnies to stay within the prescribed space.

The current population creates massive amounts of feces, decimates plant
life and litters the campus with dangerous rabbit holes.

/With files from Globe staff/   - http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news...le1661374/
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User is Offline jerseygirl
Australia
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8/07/2010 12:37 AM
Wow! Power to the People huh. Spotlight is very definately on this situation.

I'm still mystified by their allowing 200 to remain in the grounds though...
Whoever says "It's only a rabbit" has obviously never loved a rabbit.

User is Offline Andi
B.C. Canada
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8/09/2010 6:18 AM
Well they say they are going to sputer/release the 200 rabbits, and have designated feeding stations to try & keep them in those desginated areas. I want to know how they are going to STOP people from dropping off their unwanted, not sputered pet rabbits at those places, so we can start the same thing over.
I remember reading about one area doing spay/neuter release, but they did say half of the bunnies, and all the sputereed once got attacked and even killed by the intact rabbits.

I think it's great people are trying to help, and trying to save the lives of all these victim rabbits, BUT I've not read one thing that will stop people from dumping more rabbits there.
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User is Offline Andi
B.C. Canada
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8/19/2010 8:30 AM

UVIC Bunnies are on the move! Or will be, to a new home in Texas!

http://www.ctvbc.ctv.ca/servlet/an/...lumbiaHome

 

By: Ragnar Haagen, ctvbc.ca

Date: Wednesday Aug. 18, 2010 6:08 PM PT

An animal activist has been granted a permit to transport 1,000 rabbits from the University of Victoria to an animal rescue sanctuary in Texas, saving them from a planned cull.

The Ministry of Environment has given its official approval to Laura-Leah Shaw, a former federal Green Party candidate, to transport the bunnies to the Wild Rose Rescue Ranch. in East Texas.

"They were the only organization that got back to me," said Shaw. "Out of all the places in North America, and they had the capacity."

The university had originally planned to trap and eradicate all but 200 of the furry creatures, but another animal lover was able to obtain a B.C. Supreme Court injunction to prevent this for the time being. Both sides are next due in court Aug. 20.

That extra time allowed Shaw to find Wild Rose, which offers a 50-acre sanctuary. It will even provide a 600-square-foot facility in order to acclimatize the animals to the warmer Texas weather.

Georganne Lenham of the Rescue Ranch said she was happy to accommodate the rabbits when approached by Shaw with the idea.

"We have a love of animals. I'm particularly fond of rabbits, and was happy to help. We'd love to have them live out their lives free and content."

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User is Offline Monkeybun
Hillsboro, Oregon
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8/19/2010 11:51 AM
Oh good! I was worried when I first read that article saying they were just going to cull them before they could be shipped south I'm glad they got through the red tape!

User is Offline Andi
B.C. Canada
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8/19/2010 12:46 PM
Yeah, this is some great news for the poor bunbuns.
But I am still concerned what is going to change so that we can prevent this from happening once again. All it will take is for a couple of people to dump their unwanted Easter Bunny that has not been fixed, off in the areas designated for the altered feral bunnies, to start a new bunny population

It's great to have an organization donate so much money towards the spays and neuters too. I'm glad the bunnies get a chance, because the ones north of us didn't get that then they were all brutally murdered before the public even knew what was going on
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User is Offline Sarita
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8/20/2010 6:26 AM
I had a friend email me about a possible transport for these rabbits - I have to say though, I think it will be difficult to find transportation unless they rent an air conditioned truck and have 4 or 5 people to drive/ride along with the truck to care for the rabbits along the way. I've done rabbit transports for up to 7 rabbits at a time but never 300...I hope it can happen but I'm not hopeful. I know that when Best Friends had their ginormous rescue a few years back (well more than that) it was a huge undertaking finding transport too.

User is Offline Andi
B.C. Canada
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8/20/2010 7:03 AM
Honestly, i don't think this has been really all thought threw. There are no reputable Rabbit Rescues involved, just Government peoples scrambling to save face and move these rabbits. It's a bit distressing, but i sure hope it all can come together, for the sake of those bunnies.
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User is Offline Sarita
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8/20/2010 7:10 AM
I have to be honest - I'm not sure how these rabbits will survive outside in the Texas heat - it's hot here...And a transport that far away will be extremely stressful on them.

User is Offline Andi
B.C. Canada
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8/20/2010 7:18 AM
Well they say they have a facility to climatize them. But what kind of shelter are they going to provide the bunnies from the weather? Here they have a ton of shrubs/trees/etc. to hide under, from what i saw of the pictures, it's pretty bare the dry looking there with little vegitation.
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User is Offline Petzy
Northern AB Canada
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8/20/2010 1:11 PM
Why don't you ask the rescue how they are going to shelter them from the heat, and climatize them?
Photobucket "what happened? did something happen or can I just go back to my hay?"

User is Offline Petzy
Northern AB Canada
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9/07/2010 12:12 PM

This just in from the HRS updates

 

Updated: UVic begins trapping rabbits after court victory
The traps were out at the University of Victoria Monday afternoon within hours of
B.C. Supreme Court's setting aside of an injunction prohibiting UVic from trapping
or killing feral rabbits hopping around campus.
However, resumption of trapping does not mean that rabbits are going to die.
"We anticipate that there will be enough capacity in various sanctuaries to handle
all the rabbits we intend to trap in August and September," said Tom Smith, the
university's executive director of facilities management.
The injunction, obtained July 30 by rabbit activist Roslyn Cassells, undermined
UVic's plans to trap many of the approximately 1,500 rabbits living on campus before
students return next month.

Photobucket "what happened? did something happen or can I just go back to my hay?"

User is Offline Andi
B.C. Canada
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9/15/2010 11:09 AM

http://www.vancouversun.com/life/Bu...story.html

Bunny doc helps UVic rabbits jump to new home in Texas

Dozens of rabbits from the University of Victoria campus are bound for a new home at a ranch in Texas, after they were spayed or neutered by a Steveston veterinarian in preparation for travel.

Joseph Martinez, owner of Little Paws Animal Clinic, is one of three veterinarians permitted by the Ministry of the Environment to help with UVic's rabbit problem by relocating them to the Wild Rose Rescue Ranch in Texas.

Martinez said he volunteered his time to spay and neuter as many rabbits as possible so they won't have to be killed.

"It takes about an hour per bunny, but we are very efficient so we can do about two bunnies per hour. But I'll work 16 hours a day to save as many as I can," Martinez said. "Bunnies are my major interest ... If we don't try to save as many as we can, then they will probably slaughter the rest."

In August, the Environment Ministry approved a permit to transport and export up to 1,000 rabbits following an outcry from animal rights groups about a university plan to euthanize more than 100 rabbits. Rabbits fall under the B.C. Wildlife Act, so groups that want to adopt the animals must obtain permits.

The permit to move the rabbits to Texas was granted to a not-for-profit group called TRACS (The Responsible Animal Care Society), which can ship up to 96 animals at a time. The group is trying to raise enough money to ship all 1,000 to the ranch.

The rabbits travelled first to Washington on Monday night, where they were to be monitored for a few more days before the journey south.

An Italian immigrant who has lived in Canada for 20 years, Martinez said he grew up on a farm; his family raised and ate rabbits and other farm animals.

But he developed a passion for all creatures at a young age and by 10, he said, he decided it was wrong to eat animals. He then became a vegetarian and pursued a career in animal medicine in Israel and Italy.

UVic's rabbit overpopulation is thought to be the result of abandoned pets who began breeding on campus.
 

 

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User is Offline Andi
B.C. Canada
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9/15/2010 11:29 AM

This is just some of the "Crap"  we have to deal with and read on a daily basis from heartless people who have no information into the problem, but a great (usually uneducated) idea/opinion that just have to share with us all... (The editing of this forum is giving em a lot of trouble trying to 'quote' this information, so bare with me).

EDITED BY ADMIN:   The letters are a bit graphic so the pasted letters were deleted---however, I do understand that those of you, who are following this situation, may want to read them.  You can do so by clicking on the links below. 


Articles -

* http://www.canada.com/Bunnies+Might...story.html

* http://www.canada.com/Letter+Reprehensible/3524970/story.html

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User is Offline Kyoshi
265 posts Send Private Message
9/15/2010 12:42 PM
That. Is. Just. Sick. Not only because of bunnies or the barbaric killing method, but spotted owl? EAGLE? MAMMOT? How can someone be that sick. We have cows, pigs, and chicken. We have sheep. Why do we need to stress those boundaries? We are gonna get bitten by mother nature for these evil acts. We dont hang people anymore. Why should we hang animals? This is just ANOTHER one of thoses stupid acts of people thinking we are above animals and we can crush all in our path. Animals are life. Life is precious. Do these people think that animals dont know whats happening? Do they think animals are vegetables? And that we can slaughter them without them feeling any pain? Humans make peace with other countries and other humans. So why do we not make peace with animals. There our bretherine. And we need to cherish them. Sick. A\bsolutely sick.

User is Offline Billie
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9/15/2010 1:04 PM

The rabbits are stopping in my neck of the woods on their way to TX!

The organization hosting them is Rabbit Haven, a really great bunny rescue org in WA. They're going to be caring for up to 150 rabbits in bunches until all 1,000 can be transported south.

If you can, please send a donation their way. I've visited Rabbit Haven multiple times and while the facility and volunteers are top notch, they have limited resources. Sue, the director, is so commited to the welfare of the rabbits in her care that I don't think she has much time for a personal life. Read more at their website: www.rabbithaven.org.


User is Offline Kyoshi
265 posts Send Private Message
9/16/2010 5:43 AM
I JUST RE READ THE ARTICLE. WHY WOULD ANYONE WHO OWNED A BUNNY WANT A BUNNY HAT!???!??!?!?!?!?!?!? GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

User is Offline Andi
B.C. Canada
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9/16/2010 6:28 AM
Billie, thank you for the link! I'm going to pass it along to a few more bunny people I know to spread the word. it's wonderful so amny organizations/people are willing to help.

Kyoshi... i think you need to settle down. The article is written by a real jerk with bad sarcasim. He is writting that to get a reaction from animal lovers, if we feed him with a reaction he wins. I posted it as an example of the many other 'rabbit hate mail' the locals up here are dealing with in regards to the UVic bunnies.

I'm still waiting for information on how the City and even Province are going to do to stop this from every happening again.
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User is Offline Kyoshi
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9/16/2010 2:24 PM
sorry. I hadnt realized i put on caps, (i had to type this real quick at school) so I kinda was hurrying.

User is Offline Andi
B.C. Canada
1057 posts Send Private Message
10/04/2010 10:13 AM

I am VERY disapointed to have to post this news

 

http://www.timescolonist.com/technology/ordered+UVic+rabbits+defends+actions/3606001/story.html

"We are in a war zone," says farmer who ordered ex-UVic bunnies shot
Farmer who ordered killings now besieged by bunnies and people
By JUDITH LAVOIE, Timescolonist.comOctober 1, 2010


The woman who ordered the killing of escaped former University of Victoria bunnies says her farm is under siege by feral rabbits and she is now also coping with furious bunny lovers.

"We are in a war zone. They are very dangerous people. They chased the trapper off my field," said Barbara Smith, who lives beside a government-approved rabbit sanctuary in Coombs that is taking bunnies removed from the UVic campus.

Smith, a retired lawyer, who has horses on the nine-hectare property, said she had no idea a rabbit sanctuary had moved on to the grounds of the neighbouring World Parrot Refuge until she returned from a trip and found at least 90 feral rabbits on her hay field.

The rabbits are an introduced pest, said Smith, who contacted a trapper, who shot at least 30 animals.

"I am a farmer and these things are inherently dangerous. They are akin to rats. They are not harmless creatures, they are an actionable nuisance," said Smith, who is incensed that the environment ministry would allow feral rabbits in an agricultural area.

"They have dumped UVic's problem on us, created an environmental disaster zone and walked away," she said.

Smith contacted Wendy Huntbatch at the World Parrot Refuge Tuesday afternoon, but the trapper started shooting about two hours later, before rabbit-rescuer Susan Vickery had a chance to catch the escapees.

Smith said the rabbits had been out since the weekend, so there had been plenty of time to catch them.

"She's responsible for containing those rabbits," she said.

All the rabbits killed had been tattooed and sterilized after moving from the UVic campus. The death toll included some of Vickery's pets.

Last night, Smith said she could see about two dozen rabbits in her field and another four dozen in a neighbouring field, but she has no intention of allowing Vickery on her property to catch them.

"I will deal with the rabbits on my land in whatever way I have to," she said.

That has Vickery in a quandary as she fears the survivors will meet the same fate as the dead ones. She also worries that injured rabbits could be lying in the field.

"This was just so unnecessary. This was just someone being angry," she said.

Vickery said it is possible some rabbits escaped a couple of days earlier, but she does not believe 90 hopped away.

"Anyway, why didn't they contact me?" she asked.

"I find their behaviour completely unacceptable."

RCMP and ministry officials have been on site. But the official say that as the feral rabbits are wildlife, they can be legally captured and killed, provided a firearm is not used in the vicinity of a home and animals are killed humanely.

Penny Stone, B.C. SPCA Victoria branch manager, said shooting rabbits is considered humane, but she is saddened the property owners did not give sufficient time for the rabbits to be recaptured.

"I would have hoped people would have had a little more patience, especially knowing what these rabbits have already been through," she said.

Meanwhile, Smith said she is receiving threats from people angry about the rabbit killings.

"It is just a horror show," she said.

Huntbatch said she delivered a bale of hay to the gate outside Smith's home Thursday morning.

"I put a note on it saying 'we paid for this with our lives' and I signed it from the murdered bunnies," she said.

UVic is trying to clear the campus of about 1,400 of the estimated 2,000 abandoned former pets and their offspring.

About 400 rabbits have been captured so far and are heading for sanctuaries as far away as Texas.

The sterilization/relocation program followed an outcry from rabbit enthusiasts when the university was considering culling the bunnies.

jlavoie@timescolonist.com


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9Dg7dfhZTA

 

Victoria residents wage war of the rabbits


By Ethan Baron, The Province October 3, 2010 Comments (6)
StoryPhotos ( 1 )


Province columnist Ethan Baron
Photograph by: File photo, The ProvinceThere's nothing funny about dead bunnies. It's the rabbit lovers and the haters that bring a smile to my face.

Out in Coombs, the bucolic Vancouver Island community best known for goats on the roof at the Coombs Country Market, the introduction of hundreds of rescued bunnies has produced a human comedy of world-class proportions.

On one side, a horde of rabid animal lovers who orchestrated the salvation of death-sentenced rabbits from the University of Victoria, only to see their efforts end in a bloody bunny massacre.

On the other side, a once-famous musician and his retired-lawyer wife, who say fallout from the measures they took against the long-eared invaders at their hobby farm has turned their pastoral paradise into a "war zone."

This saga began years ago, birthed of human irresponsibility as Victoria residents abandoned pet rabbits whose neediness outlasted their cuteness.

As bunnies will do, these hapless

once-pets bred, and eventually the University of Victoria campus became home to some 2,000 feral rabbits. Moves to kill them generated outrage among animal lovers, who responded with court action to stop the cull, raised $90,000 for rabbit rescue and arranged with the B.C. Environment Ministry and U.S. border authorities to allow shipment of 1,000 rabbits to a Texas farm.

Meanwhile, Saltspring Island wildlife advocate Susan Vickery had a bunny sanctuary built at the World Parrot Refuge near Coombs, unfortunately right next door to the property of retired lawyer Barbara Smith and her husband Rick Coonce, former drummer for The Grassroots, an American rock band from the '60s and '70s.

Of the several hundred rabbits put into Vickery's care, a disputed number escaped. Smith, who keeps horses, told the Victoria Times-Colonist's Judith Lavoie that she came home from a trip last week to find about 90 bunnies hopping about in her hay field. On Wednesday, Smith contacted Wendy Huntbach at the World Parrot Refuge to complain, but soon demonstrated that whatever lawyerly virtues she may possess, patience is not among them. Two hours after she called, her hired gunslinger opened fire, offing about 30 rabbits before Vickery arrived with some traps.

Bunny lovers were, predictably, hopping mad, and Huntbach struck a blow on behalf of the fuzzy martyrs: She delivered a hay bale to Smith and Coonce, with a note saying, "We paid for this with our lives," signed "from the murdered bunnies."

Honestly, I'm not making this up. Smith says animal lovers chased her hired gun off the property, and have threatened her. "We are in a war zone," she hyperbolized to Lavoie. Indeed, one of the reader comments on the Times-Colonist website suggests that if "they think it's OK to kill pets, then let's play the same game and kill some of them."

By late last week, Smith was eyeing the remaining rabbits in her hayfield, refusing Vickery's entreaties to let her trap them, and promising to "deal with the rabbits on my land in whatever way I have to."

Clearly, cooler heads will not prevail. The players in this amazing made-in-B.C. drama have left reason far behind. I'll stroke my lucky rabbit's foot (sorry, Susan and Wendy) and hope the bunnies remain the only victims. There's nothing funny about dead people.

ebaron@theprovince.com

 

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User is Offline Petzy
Northern AB Canada
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10/06/2010 6:10 AM
This mess is dedicated to the people who think dumping a pet bunny is no big deal...
Photobucket "what happened? did something happen or can I just go back to my hay?"

User is Offline Andi
B.C. Canada
1057 posts Send Private Message
10/06/2010 7:59 AM
I keep reading more and more that just breaks my heart
It just keeps getting worse instead of better, those poor bunnies.

i hate people.
Photobucket
* Don't Breed or Buy while Homeless Pets Die. Opt' to Adopt!
* Adoption is the Living Option.
* Adopting One Rescued Animal Saves Two Lives. The Animal you Adopted, and the Homelss Animal that will take it's Place in the shelter.

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
2823 posts Send Private Message
10/06/2010 8:45 AM
She's living to the letter of the law - which makes her a responsible person. Now, if she'd just compromise, she'd be a socially respectable one. Big thing would be to triple check the fence so they don't get away anymore. Maybe create a one way gate so they can be lured back in.
My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline Andi
B.C. Canada
1057 posts Send Private Message
10/06/2010 8:59 AM
If you see the pictures of the fencing in the video and such you can see why the animals are leaving, the fence couldn't keep anything in, it's pathetic. Also, these animals were not spayed/neutered but 'altered' by vasectomy. So they are all still hormonal, meaning nasty fighting.
In the video it shows a black bunny favoring a front paw, obviously hurt.
I thought these people were supposed to be giving these rabbits a better life, not a crappier one then the last.
(Last newpaper article posted the neighbour was now letting her large black dog into the sanctuary to kill the rabbits. Though I'm just not sure what to believe anymore)
Photobucket
* Don't Breed or Buy while Homeless Pets Die. Opt' to Adopt!
* Adoption is the Living Option.
* Adopting One Rescued Animal Saves Two Lives. The Animal you Adopted, and the Homelss Animal that will take it's Place in the shelter.

User is Offline Petzy
Northern AB Canada
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10/06/2010 9:41 AM
Vasectomizing a rabbit makes no sense to me. It is a more invasive surgical procedure than castration and like you said does nothing to change hormones.
Photobucket "what happened? did something happen or can I just go back to my hay?"

User is Offline Lintini
Bay Area, California
3336 posts Send Private Message
10/06/2010 1:41 PM
*shakes head in disbelief* I don't even know what to say, it's all very sad.
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User is Offline LittlePuffyTail
New Brunswick, Canada
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10/06/2010 2:50 PM
It's disgusting. The bunnies are the product of people being irresponsible and now are being killed by uncompassionate people. IMO anyone who can kill animals like that are angry and full of hate. It's so hard to hear these stories and be able to do nothing.
Proud to be a Bunny Hugger and a voice for the voiceless
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User is Offline cactuspancake
Boston, MA
545 posts Send Private Message
10/27/2010 8:01 PM
I'm sad that the poor bunnies can't stay in their own region I wish they could just move them up north to the forest or something? I don't really get why they can't just spay/ neuter them all and then move them to the forest...
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User is Offline Petzy
Northern AB Canada
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10/28/2010 6:53 AM
The forest is teeming with predators. The domestic rabbits would enter the food chain before their spay sutures would be healed.
Photobucket "what happened? did something happen or can I just go back to my hay?"

BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > RESCUE EFFORTS FOR SHELTERS > UVic unveils plan to rid campus of 1,400 feral rabbits

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