Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Rabbits prove to be perfect pet

Monash Life (Waverley Leader - 7 August 2007)

MT WAVERLEY resident Karen V would like the public to know rascally rabbits actually make great indoor pets.

Her home is an indoor warren for rabbits rescued from pet shops & animal shelters.

"We got one ourselves, back in 2001, and we didn't know how to look after it. We did a lot of research and found out a lot of information and that you could keep them indoors," Ms V said. But most people cringed at the thought, thinking of the domestic animal's wild cousins, she said.

"They (rabbits) are misunderstood; people think they are good pets for small children because they are small, not like dogs and cats, (and) they think of them as throwaway pets," Ms V said.

"For a mature person they are a great indoor pet. You don't have to walk them, you don't have to register them, they are quite clever, they litter train themselves and are quite clean and cheap to feed."

Proper food and living conditions meant they could live for many years, but people quickly got sick of them, Ms V said.

"Their diet is often so poor they die early," she said.

"They are exposed to the weather if they are outside, they need a couple of metres to jump up and stand up; you wouldn't put a cat or a dog in a box in the backyard, so why would you do that to a rabbit?"

Ms V described the pets as very affectionate - "something in between a cat and a dog".

She and her partner, Nimal K, run a rabbit care advice website, and put out a free monthly rabbit newsletter.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Rabbit Factory Permit Denied!

This is the Rabbit Campaign Victory of the Century!!! Thank you so much to ALV & all their members for objecting to the intensive battery cage rabbit farm that was intended for Leongatha, Victoria.

This victory is even more outstanding as the South Gippsland Council had originally approved the permit and fought tooth and nail for it to receive the go ahead, despite objections from locals and of course ALV.

In early July, ALV and two neighbors to the property appealed the local council's decision to approve the rabbit factory at a Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). ALV President Patty Mark prepared and presented a submission on behalf of the rabbits, including in the appendix an excellent paper prepared especially for the tribunal by leading UK rabbit expert Colleen McDuling.

The application to battery cage rabbits was mainly knocked back due to concerns about how the enormous volumes of faeces deposited by thousands of rabbits each month would be dealt with in an area also prone to flooding. Photos taken by ALV's rescue team of battery cage rabbit factories featuring huge piles of built up manure would have definitely impacted on the decision.

Although the Tribunal were generally unwilling to deal with issues related to animal cruelty, at least some concern was raised that the current Codes of Practice governing rabbit farming are "out of touch" and "carry little weight".

(Note: the applicant was originally so confident their proposal would pass they already had two semi trailers loaded with a shed and cages on the property, ready to assemble).