Rabbits were tossed from a moving vehicle into a rodeo ring, where they were grabbed by children at a rodeo held recently in Cottage Grove, Oregon. The event was recorded on video and posted on YouTube by Red Barn Rabbit Rescue. The video is embedded below, and viewers should be warned that its content may be disturbing.
In a report on the website of KMTR television, the President of the Cottage Grove Humane Society, Janetta Overholser, was quoted as saying that the animals had to have been terrified.
“To pick them up wrong can result in a broken back or leg. You’ve got kids out there chasing and running, falling, tripping.”
She continued: “In the past, some of the feed stores have been contacted asking them to take care of the rabbits because they weren’t able to take care of it.
Red Barn Rabbit Rescue, a local non-profit organization based in Creswell, Oregon objects fiercely to the event, which uses baby rabbits that are bred specifically “as bait for children to chase, catch and keep.”
Their website states:
…there cannot be any possible way to make this event rabbit friendly. In addition, it is clear to us that breeding over 50 rabbits for the event is grossly irresponsible and does nothing to help the disheartening rabbit overpopulation. Therefore we wrote to the Cottage Grove Riding club asking them to discontinue this event.
Here is an excerpt from the letter from Red Barn to the Cottage Grove Riding Club, organizers of the rodeo:
Rabbits are prey animals. The Animal Scramble puts the rabbits in what is arguably one of the most terrifying situations they be could be in. Being chased, grabbed and carried or shoved into a carrier of some kind not knowing what is about to happen and having no means of escape. Rabbits require quiet, cool and controlled environments in order to keep their respiratory and cardio systems stable. The stress the Animal Scramble puts on those rabbits is nothing short of inhumane. We also feel it sends the wrong message to the kids that the animal’s welfare does not matter as long as they are having a good time.
Here is contact information for the rodeo organizers:
Cottage Grove Riding Club
Attn: Eugene LaRoe
PO Box 485
Cottage Grove OR 97424
Image capture from video courtesy of Red Barn Rabbit Rescue