Anyone caught owning a pet rabbit in Queensland can be fined $30,000 – even if it has been spayed or neutered. Recent flooding in the Australian state, during which five rabbits were rescued by the RSPCA, has sparked a debate about whether bunnies are pets or pests.
Here are highlights of an article by Harry Brumpton, reporting for the South East Advertiser.
These are the two sides of a long-running battle that has seen an underground railroad for rabbits spring up across the country to save the critters from state law which demands they be killed.
The RSPCA has five rabbits which they this week plan to desex and then send to a rescue group in Grafton, New South Wales.
It’s a move that sidesteps state law and is the latest example of the constant clash between animal carers and Queensland’s rules over rabbit rights.
Under new rules, the RSPCA are now the only people allowed to hold a rabbit and transport it.
“We often try to hitch a lift with different people. Often dog tamers help us out as well, occasionally they’ll be travelling and take them,” RSPCA spokesperson Michael Beatty said.
“Its obviously important that they’re desexed. They will all be vaccinated and microchipped.
“There’s three of them that have been here about a week. We probably get about 30 through each year I’d say.”
One outer-state rescue group is The Rabbit Rescue and Sanctuary in northern New South Wales which was established to help refugee rabbits _ many of them smuggled in from the sunshine state before the change.
“Our mission statement is to help people to help rabbits,” sanctuary manager Kim Cooney said.
To read the complete article online please click this link.
With the Australian rabbit problem being all about breeding and over-population, Hoppington Post believes that rabbits which have been spayed or neutered are not problematic and should be legalized in Queensland.
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