Yesterday Hoppington Post reported an accusation by local rabbit advocacy groups that city workers in Richmond, British Columbia were burying rabbits alive below a shed in Minoru Park. Later that morning, we asked a local resident, Mary Johnson to observe the situation first hand. She located the small storage building and observed several rabbits going in and out of holes in front of it. There were no signs of demonstrators nor city workers, and everything seemed to be normal. Residents were jogging, doing tai chi, and watching the rabbits as usual.
“I counted at least seven rabbits freely going in and out of several holes under the shed. At least one was a very pregnant female and one was a baby,” Ms. Johnson said.
Obviously, this does not mean there is not a problem. The park abounds with abandoned rabbits and their offspring. Cindy Howard is with the rabbit rescue organization Bandaids for Bunnies. They have been urging the city of Richmond to become more pro-active about the problem of abandoned rabbits that have been multiplying not only in Minoru Park, but also in the Richmond Auto Mall and several other areas across the city for several years.
How exactly to deal with the problem is something upon which even rabbit advocacy groups do not agree. Some say the answer is TNR, trap neuter and release. Others say it would be best to round the rabbits up and put them into sanctuaries. Both potential solutions are problematic. Neutering, as was done with more than 900 rabbits removed from the campus at the University of Victoria on Vancouver Island, requires considerable expense to cover veterinary costs. Setting up a sanctuary requires land, which in the Metro Vancouver area, is very expensive. What all concerned seem to agree upon is that public awareness of the problem needs to be increased.