Monday, January 31, 2011

Teaching the wrong lessons in rabbit care

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Jan 31, 2011
Teaching the wrong lessons in rabbit care

MY FAMILY has been taking in abandoned rabbits for the past 10 years, so I was troubled by the Rabbits In The City event organised by Pets Village at Suntec City Mall from Jan 20 to Jan 30.

First, rabbits are very timid and fragile animals, and subjecting them to such stress at a crowded public event is cruel as it can result in them falling ill and even dying.

Worse still, at the event, some rabbits were kept in tiny cages not even fit to house a hamster. The larger rabbits barely had enough space to turn around. Furthermore, the cages had wire floors, which could result in the animals developing sore hocks.

The Pets Village staff standing at the table with the rabbits in cages also did not stop people from poking their fingers at the rabbits.

Moreover, people were allowed to pat the rabbits which would definitely have caused them severe stress. Some of my more timid rabbits at home won't even let me pat them, but will run away if I try. However, the rabbits at the Suntec event were put on a table surrounded by people, with nowhere to run.

A staff member there claimed the event was to educate the public. However, with all the things they were doing wrong, how could they be educating the public? Although they said they were not selling rabbits at the event, Pets Village does sell rabbits, and its staff were giving out the company business cards.

I was really shocked to learn that the event was approved by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA), and hope that AVA will never again allow such events to take place, and will put more effort into educating the public about rabbits.

Joel Chia