Ever been so taken by the personality of a little puppy that you cant believe its not a little person? This is how many pet rabbit owners feel, because the pet bunny is an animal FULL of love and personality, each one being its own individual, complete with differring personality traits.
The QLD Government's Department of Primary Industries, however, doesnt want people living in QLD to see and know this side of bunnies, and instead wants to uphold their ridiculous ban on keeping rabbits as pets in their state.
Their only argument is that rabbits will escape from their homes, breed with wild rabbits already present in the area, and then cause damage to the QLD farmer's livelyhoods by tearing through the states vegetation. Not only is this a gross misunderstanding of the rabbits existence and way of living, but it is completely unsupported by any scientific evidence.
Much beloved pet rabbits are in fact, completely harmless to the outside environment. Many rabbit owners keep their rabbits inside their houses, where their bunnies become a valued member of the family. He hangs out in your lap to watch tv, runs around "binkying" (a happy-rabbit dance involving lots of head flicking and leaping into the air) to entertain the family, and uses a litter tray like a cat. He rarely ventures outside, and when he does he is either contained in a pen or runs around on a leash, and his best friend is the family dog. This is the reality for almost ALL pet rabbit owners, who can legally keep their beloved animals in every other part of the country.
To say that pet rabbits will be able to survive outside of their homes is ridiculous as most have become so accustomed to other people and animals that they would happily venture up to a neighbours dog to play, only to be attacked and killed. If it isnt a neighbours dog that ends poor bunny's life then it will be a cat, or a large bird, or a car. House rabbits that have been raised as mini humans simply cannot survive in the wild.
From The Courier Mail article 'Queensland's rabbit ban is unlikely to be removed ' by Phil Hammond:
"Paul Westaway, state co-ordinator of the Pet Industry Association of Australia, said in 2003, the Pet Industry Association was invited by the State Government to provide a submission about domestic-bred rabbits. "We put together an 84-page document, consulting environmental scientists, and we uncovered so many facts that refuted their arguments," he said.
"Domestic-type rabbits will not breed with feral rabbits. In 1998, for an experiment, the CSIRO released domestic rabbits with feral rabbits and 12 months later there were none left.
"Even the Government's independent consultant, Bob Carstens, concluded he could see no reason why Queensland should not fall into line with the rest of the states on this issue, but the minister Stephen Robertson announced the status quo would be maintained."
"Westaway said: "Two years after Western Australia decided to allow pet rabbits, they did an environmental impact study which concluded the impact was nil.
"The benefit of having rabbits as pets is huge for the economy – for vets, for people who sell accessories . . . we're talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars a year for the pet industry."
We, the pet rabbit lovers of Australia, are calling for the QLD Government, Department of Primary Industries to legalise the keeping of desexed, vaccinated, and registered pet rabbits in QLD.
To completely outlaw the keeping of pet rabbits is not only unnecessary, it is unfair. Why should I have to forfeit a better life in QLD for my family and myself because we have fallen in love with a beautiful little bunny?
QLD Government - Please reconsider the pet rabbit ban, you would be encouraging pet owners to be honest and responsible for their animals. In true government fashion, it could even be treated as a revenue raiser, by charging rabbit owners a government licence or registration fee.
I know most rabbit owners would happily pay thousands to keep their beloved babies...
To read the full Courier Mail article on the QLD ban: