Target: Chris Burger, Mayor of Parksville, Canada
Goal: Explore alternative methods of dealing with the city’s feral rabbit population, rather than killing them.
Parksville, Canada residents are being plagued with an overpopulation of feral rabbits. Recently, a petition signed by 51 Parksville residents called for legal permission to deal with the problem by culling, or killing, the rabbits. Residents fear that if the rabbit population is not dealt with soon, a population explosion could lead to problems such as property damage.
Mayor Chris Burger so far has not approved culling the rabbits, although he does admit that they are a potential problem. The mayor has stated that some of his concerns include the potential presence of protected rabbit species in the area, as well as the fact that a large majority of the feral rabbits are currently located on private, and not city owned, property. There are currently no specific laws in Parksville to lay out how this issue should be dealt with.
Feral rabbits, much like feral cats, come from animals that were originally pets, but were either released or escaped outside. Most feral rabbits are not directly ex-pets, but are the offspring of unfixed pet rabbits that were released into the wild. It is not uncommon for people to release pet rabbits when they no longer want to care for them. These owners may think they are giving their pets a good life and the opportunity to be free, but the truth of the matter is that most released pets suffer on their own and do not survive long without human care. In areas where pet rabbits can survive on their own, it’s not uncommon for them to breed, well, like rabbits.
High populations of feral rabbits are a problem caused by humans. It’s unfair to kill these rabbits for human convenience, when the problem never would have occurred if people had been more responsible with their pets in the first place. Humans created this problem, and it’s up to them to deal with the issue humanely. In the past, towns faced with high populations of feral rabbits have instituted a humane capture program. After capture, the rabbits can be spayed or neutered and allowed to live out the reminder of their lives in rabbitats, or large outdoor enclosures designed to house large numbers of fixed feral rabbits. Some formally feral rabbits can actually be acclimated to humans and adopted out as pets.
If Parksville continues to experience problems with high feral rabbit populations, perhaps the city should consider offering spay/neuter programs for domestic pet rabbits, and stricter regulations for the control of any meat rabbit breeders in the area. Educate Parksville residents about the importance of fixing your pets, even small animals such as rabbits, and why you should never release a domestic animal into the wild.
By signing this petition, you are asking Mayor Chris Burger and the city of Parksville not to allow the feral rabbits in the city to be killed. Instead, urge that the rabbits be dealt with humanely, and the cause of the problem be evaluated so that the city can take steps to avoid future problems.
Dear Mayor Chris Burger,
Recently, 51 Parksville residents petitioned to institute a cull to deal with the feral rabbit population in your city. It is commendable that you have not yet approved the cull despite your citizens’ complaints. There are humane ways in which you can deal with the rabbit overpopulation, keeping both your city’s citizens and the rabbits happy.
Rabbitats are large outdoor enclosures that are designed to house large numbers of fixed feral rabbits. The rabbits are removed from the area where they are causing problems, given proper medical care including being altered, and then allowed to live out the rest of their lives in a naturalistic outdoor enclosure where they can remain safe and are no longer a risk to humans. Many rabbit rescues are beginning to utilize rabbitats to house large numbers of feral domestic rabbits. Also, some formally feral rabbits can be acclimated to humans and adopted out as pets.
If feral rabbits continue to be a problem in Parksville, perhaps you should think about instituting education programs to teach your residents the importance of responsible pet ownership. Domestic rabbits kept as pets should be altered, and never released into the wild or allowed to escape. Maybe your city could consider offering a spay/neuter program for domestic rabbits, and enact stricter regulations for the control of any meat rabbit breeders in the area. High populations of feral rabbits are a problem initially created by humans, and the rabbits involved deserve to be treated humanely and with respect. Thank you.
[Your Name Here]