People dumping domestic rabbits on Granville Island in Vancouver has led to an increase in the rabbit population at the popular tourist destination. Media reports indicate that there are plans to kill the rabbits on Granville Island. The CBC article notes that the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) manages Granville Island and the corporation has decided to have them killed, citing concerns that the rabbits are attracting coyotes.
Our friends at Rabbitats have offered to help find housing for the rabbits but need more time to address the situation.
For people wanting to help the rabbits, do not take the rabbits and release them in other areas, as this will create new problems elsewhere.
More needs to be done to address the root causes that put European rabbits (the species that are commonly used for pets) in such precarious situations:
- Rabbit dumping: people buy rabbits as pets, only to abandon them when they no longer want them or for other reasons. Rabbit colonies can be formed from abandoned rabbits, leading to tragic consequences like mass killings.
- Backyard breeders and an unregulated breeding industry: the province has no regulations in place for breeding of rabbits.
- In-store and online sale of rabbits: an unregulated rabbit breeding sector sells rabbits on online marketplaces and in pet stores. Action needs to be take to end the proliferation of rabbit sales.
- Lack of provincial leadership and action to provide options for abandoned rabbits: advocates have raised concerns to the province for years about the need for regulations around domesstic rabbits, but nothing is being done at the provincial level to address root problems.
Contact Granville Island and the CMHC at firstname.lastname@example.org to halt plans to trap and kill rabbits in Granville Island. Remember to be polite and respectful in your communications as this will likely have a greater impact. Voice your opposition to the killing of rabbits on Granville Island and implore the CMHC to work with community groups to find non-lethal, humane solutions.
You can also contact the Minister of Agriculture at AF.Minister@gov.bc.ca and call on the province to introduce regulations around the breeding and sale of rabbits.
In addition to speaking out for the rabbits, please consider opening up your home to make more space at shelters. Several rescues in Vancouver (or potentially in your area!) are looking for foster homes. Fosters are needed for all kinds of bunnies including adults, babies, pairs, singles or even for rabbits with special needs. Both short or long term commitment options are available. Experience with rabbit care is an asset though not a necessity.
Rabbitats – Foster