Please Help Stop The Tippah County Fair Rabbit Scramble

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Minutes into this 2014 video - terrorized young rabbits seen frantically kicking and flailing while being painfully dangled by their ears, dropped, picked back up still struggling and kicking from fear trying to escape the screaming, stampeding children as they literally run and fight for their lives.  
You see a rabbit violently being dropped after struggling to escape, resulting in a state of shock unable to move (most likely a result of a broken back or spine injury). Rabbits are choked, dangled by legs or any part of the body, all the while grown adults smile, laugh, encourage and praise this behavior being taught by them

Teaching kids to commit animal abuse and cruelty is not acceptable.
Opinion:  Sharon L. Crowell-Davis DVM, PhD, DACVB, Professor of Behavioral Medicine,College of Veterinary Medicine.

Rabbits have much higher heart rates. Chasing is very stressful and fearful for rabbits who are not made for endurance, they're made for sudden short bursts of speed. Rabbits have muscles that burn up oxygen very rapidly, faster than their heart and lungs can supply it. They quickly go into an anaerobic state and begin to accumulate lactic acid in their muscles. It changes the pH level and eventually effects the ability of things to work correctly. If it gets severe enough it damages the heart and other tissues and can lead to death.

2016 videos and photos, 2015 photos2014 videos2013 photos2012 photos
Every August the Tippah County (Mississippi) Fair provides this cruel event called the Rabbit Scramble where organizers release young rabbits into a dirt arena encouraging small children 2-5 yrs old to chase them while catching them in any manor they can without any regard for the animals welfare.  The frightened rabbits kick, bite and scratch out of fear resulting in children and rabbits both being injured.

Rabbits have fragile bones that break easily, to prey animals - being chased is one of the worst things you could do to them, not only do they have to survive being chased while literally running for their lives, they are improperly handled, pulled on, accidentally stepped on, being flailed around by their ears or scruffed by the skin of their back, all resulting in terrifying fear and pain. 

Carrying a rabbit by the ears damages the cartilage that supports the ears, and, because the body is suspended without support, can easily fracture the rabbit’s spine, leading to paralysis. Scruffing, is another dangerous practice, especially without supporting the rabbit’s back, as it can also fracture the rabbit’s spine when the rabbit kicks”. When you life a rabbit by the scruff, the skin is torn loose from the muscle tissue.  Safe Handling -  MediRabbit.

Fair photos display rabbits with budging eyes (a symptom of fear or pain) a rabbit being hung by it's throat being choked. Many of the rabbits have distended abdomen's as seen in pregnant rabbits, which worsens this cruelty to yet another level.  Mishandled rabbits suffer trauma, injuries, broken backs or can die from fear as a result of these types of barbaric torturous events, if they do survive the stress from the event will cause illness or the untreated injuries death.

Sadly the rabbits bred for these events usually live in squalor, seen with yellow urine stained feet. After the rabbits are caught, they are given to the child as a prize; many families do not want the responsibility of an unplanned pet/living animal which results in further abuse of dumping, neglect or worse.  If they are unwanted after the barbaric event they go back to the breeder to be used for more breeding or inhumanely killed for meat.

According to news articles, this barbaric event has been happening since the year 2000. Facebook posts by Fair Workers reference 20 years.

Mississippi does not provide exemptions to their animal cruelty laws which cover torturing and unjustifiably injuring Any Living Creature.
Organizers and sponsors of the fair, the sheriff, and government officials from the Governor of Mississippi, the District Attorney, and the Animal Board of Health have so-far failed to enforce MSSS 97-41-5, the statute that prohibits the cruel carrying of animals, and MSSS 97-41-1 which outlaws the tormenting of animals.

We the petitioners respectfully request that Tippah County Fair remove this barbaric cruel event from their fair, an event that causes extreme terror, pain, suffering, injuries or possible death to domestic rabbits while being exploited as "family fun". Other animals are also seen terrified, barbarically abused, and mishandled while heard screaming in these events.  We ask ask Governor Phil Bryant to honor the Animal Cruelty Laws end help this cruel Tippah County Event and all Rabbit Scrambles in the state of Mississippi while finding resources that promote psychological well- being of children instead of teaching them disrespect, torture and cruelty to animals.

Children have no understanding how animals as delicate as rabbits should be handled, the director of these events should be held accountable for deliberately and intentionally causing suffering, terror and pain to the animals used in this event.

 Many states prohibit or restrict the giving away of live animals as prizes.
"House Rabbit Society" respectfully requests that the Tippah County Fair end this cruel practice"

This Fair Lets Kids Chase Rabbits, Yank Them Up By Their Ears
By Hilary Hanson - Huffington Post





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