Friday, May 27, 2011

Grant of $1.3 Million to Support the Development of Rabbit Virus for Cancer Treatment

Grant of $1.3 Million to Support the Development of Rabbit Virus for Cancer TreatmentThe Health Research Council of New Zealand had provided a $1.3 million grant to support the treatment, being developed by the Southern District Health Board Oncology Research Unit and the University of Otago Medical School.
The research is believed to refine the figures that have marked the Southland with maximum number of bowel cancers and aimed to draft policies to enhance the treatments along with a modified virus that had destroyed the rabbit population.
Chris Jackson, SDHB consultant Medical Oncologist while addressed a meeting of Freemasons and the public at the Southland Masonic Centre, on Tuesday, and notified that during the 1990s, the virus for rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD) had decimated the rabbit population in New Zealand, particularly in the regions of Central Otago.
However, the latest treatment involves the mechanism of bioengineering in which the drained shell of the virus called virus-like particles (VLPs) is used to stimulate the body immune system against the cancer.
The involved attaching tumor-associated proteins to the VLP shell like "a tail" to stimulate the cancer immune response in order to target the terrible disease, cancer. "There's room for hope and a lot of room for optimism, but there's a need for a new direction”, he added further.

Sourced from here.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Terence Blacker: Standing up for rabbits' rights

Concern for animals has a slightly unfortunate political pedigree. Hitler was tender-hearted towards pets. Alan Clark, famously sensitive to the plight of animals, was once asked if his concern extended to humans; "Curiously not," was the answer. The BNP likes to boast about its firm line on animal rights. Nick Griffin's party-political fireside chats see him with a cat – strangely of mixed race – curled up on his lap.
Yet I am almost certain that it was not a sudden lurch towards fascism that convinced me that the RSPCA's current campaign was not an entirely ridiculous idea....

Read more, from the Independent. 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Companion Animal Welfare Inquiry – Notice of Motion

(Parliament House)
That this House:
(1) Appoints a select committee to inquire on companion animal welfare with the view to improving their welfare.
(2) That the committee consider the following:
(a) The number and cause of companion animals arriving in NSW shelters and pounds each year and their outcome, such as whether they get re-homed, re-united or euthanized;
(b) Breeding of companion animals;
(c) The practices associated with the sale of companion animals including from pet shops, markets, pounds, shelters, on-line, classifieds, or to the overseas market;
(d) Mandatory desexing including prior to sale;
(e) The effectiveness and enforcement of Department of Primary Industries’ companion animal policies, standards and guidelines;
(f) The effectiveness of the Companion Animals Act and its application by local government;
(g) The effectiveness of micro-chipping;
(h) Treatment of companion animals travelling by airplane;
(i) The impact of pet bans in accommodation including apartments, strata, retirement villages, and rental properties;
(j) The impact of pet bans on public transport;
(k) The existence and effectiveness of education programs on responsible pet ownership, including the importance of desexing;
(l) Data collection by government and non-government agencies to inform and monitor companion animal welfare; and,
(m) Any other matter relevant to improving companion animal welfare.
(3) That the Committee consist of six members as follows:
(a) Ms Clover Moore, who shall be Chair of the committee;
(b) Three shall be from the Government; and,
(c) Two non-government members.
(4) That the members be nominated in writing to the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly by the relevant party leaders within seven calendar days of the passing of this resolution.
(5) That at any meeting of the committee four members shall constitute a quorum.

from here.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Steve Maxwell has got both rabbits and Pittwater mayor in a stew
RESIDENTS say hunting rabbits with a bow and arrow is an acceptable way to control the “feral pests” on the peninsula.
The community has come out in support of the “bunny slayer”, Steve Maxwell, with at least one resident calling on the experienced hunter to kill rabbits on their property.
Mr Maxwell took the rabbit plague into his own hands, shooting rabbits on private properties in Warriewood with a bow and arrow.
He made a video, titled Bunny Slayer, and posted it on YouTube. The footage included slow-motion replays on rabbits being hit and his children holding weapons and rabbit carcasses.
RELATED NEWS: Rabbit Rambo leads one-man war against bunny plague

read the rest here.


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Adoptable Bunny: Winifred

Small female rabbit, rescued from the pound by Sydney Pet Rescue and Adoption.

Winifred is a stunning angora bunny with soft fluffy fur that will need to be brushed regularly. She is calm, good with people and enjoys being petted. She is looking for a nice new family who can give her daily grooming, pats and love and preferably keep her indoors.

She is currently staying with Clare and Alex in Dulwich Hill.

To enquire about this beauty contact:

Friday, May 13, 2011

Child builds tiny cart for Joe the paraplegic bunny

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - When the O'Rourke family of Tucson found a couple of Easter-time bunnies in their back yard, they knew right away that something wasn't quite right.
There was a reason the mother rabbit abandoned them.  Paul O'Rourke realized one bunny they named Joe had no use of his hind legs.  Paul and his family helped nurse the bunnies back to health, but then they went one step further to help the paraplegic bunny.
Paul's son Liam designed and built a small cart for Joe to help him move around a little easier.  The red wagon with yellow wheels took some getting used to, but ultimately seemed to improve his mobility.
After Joe and his brother were feeling a bit better, the O'Rourke family took them to a wildlife rescue center.
Paul provided KGUN9 a home video they produced to document Joe the Tucson Easter bunny.
from here.

Better run rabbit run: push to desex all pet bunnies

A Pittwater councillor is campaigning for all pet rabbits to be desexed prior to sale. Picture: ISABELLA LETTINI
A Pittwater councillor is campaigning for all pet rabbits to be desexed prior to sale. Picture: ISABELLA LETTINI
A NEW front has been opened on the war against rabbits.
Pittwater councillor Jacqui Townsend is lobbying to have every pet rabbit desexed before it is sold.
The move comes after accumulating annual costs to curb growing rabbit populations, which destroy hours of work by bush regeneration volunteers.
Cr Townsend will present a motion to Pittwater Council on Monday for the council to write to the State Government to seek the new regulations.
The motion will also ask for support from the body representing all NSW councils, the NSW Local Government Association, to help lobby the State Government for new regulations.
Frustrated bush regenerators, such as Cr Townsend, are behind the move, with hours spent on bush regeneration reduced to nil when rabbits eat their new plantings overnight.
“We spend hundreds of hours planting and watering, to return our bushland to a pristine condition, and the rabbits just go and eat all the plant tubestock,” Cr Townsend said.
“There need to be controls put in place, so hopefully Pittwater can lead the way in NSW, like we have on other issues, and push this on the agenda at the Local Government Association conference (in October).”
She said further discussions were needed to determine whether pet shops or the State Government should pay to desex the rabbits.
Read more and make a comment- Do you think all bunnies should be desexed?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Female/ Breed Unknown/ Chinchilla coat/ Younger bun

Belle came to us from the pound where she was surrendered by her previous owners. I find it hard to know why someone would surrender such a gorgeous creature with such nice manners, such a pretty face and fluffy chinchilla coat! She has a mild temperament and is still a little shy at the moment. We think she'll come out of her shell to be a rascally but snuggley bunny.

She is residing with us in Dulwich Hill for now, but hopefully this soon to be cuddle bear will be someones new best friend.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Farmer gets green light for rabbit farms (UK)

RABBIT farms will soon start operating in the UK after a Lincolnshire farmer was given the green light for six barns, each housing up to 1,000 animals.

Farmer Philip Kerry applied to set up barns at various locations across the country and says he could be up and running within nine months.
But the RSPCA said it had ‘serious concerns’ about the conditions for rabbits in battery farms, particularly the amount of space they were given.
Read more and please read the comments and state your own opinion!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Bunny lovers appeal

THE fate of the Olinda bunny orphanage will be decided in July. 
Last December, Yarra Ranges Council refused Bryce and Judi Inglis a permit to continue operating the Rabbit Runaway Orphanage at their Stanley St property, after residents raised concerns about it.
The couple has now taken their fight to the Victorian Civil and Ad Leg 1 ministrative Tribunal, where it is due to be heard on July 26. 
Since the couple’s plight was made public, over 2000 people have signed an online petition to save the shelter.
See the facebook page for Rabbit Runaway's mission and see how you can help!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Dog lovers drop bait for rabbit shooters

Local dog club president Lorna Miller says authorities should shoot feral rabbits, rather than bait them. Picture: VIRGINIA YOUNG
Local dog club president Lorna Miller says authorities should shoot feral rabbits, rather than bait them. Picture: VIRGINIA YOUNG
THE peninsula’s top dog training club president, Lorna Miller, has thrown her support behind more rabbit shooting to control feral rabbit populations, rather than baiting with poison.
The Manly and District Kennel and Dog Training Club president said rabbit baiting greatly reduced the number of parks available to exercise dogs.
“It’s frustrating for dogs and frustrating for us dog owners - baiting means yet another place we can’t take our dogs for six weeks, sometimes longer,” she said.
“Shooting is a more humane and faster method that allows access to dogs and their owners, which is a better answer.”
A Pittwater Council spokeswoman said since 2009 trained marksmen had done culling twice a year between midnight and 4am in open spaces such as Avalon Golf Course and Pittwater Rugby Park.
“Culling of feral rabbits by shooting is only undertaken under strict controls relating to public safety and is generally unsuitable for residential areas where other methods are used,” she said.
In Warringah, between 50 to 100 feral rabbits a month have been culled since 2008, although locations cannot be made public, according to a council spokesman.
“Culling does not take place in residential areas and is done outside high traffic, social times to minimise any impact on the community.”
Dog owner Diane Campbell from Scotland Island said she was happy with the current level of rabbit baiting.
“There are many other parks you can go to,” she said.
The Manly and District Kennel and Dog Training Club president says more rabbit shooting should take place rather than baiting
Rabbit bait means parks and reserves can be closed to dogs for six to seven weeks
Baiting began on March 7 and 20 at Manly Dam, Middle Creek and Garigal National Park, with the council reserves closed to dogs until Sunday, April 17
In Pittwater, baiting occurred in 44 parks, reserves and other areas in Pittwater from February 14 to April 8
Is shooting feral rabbits a better method than baiting? Comment on the article here.

Monday, May 2, 2011

MY WORKING LIFE - Dr Tarnya Cox, pest management

PEST DOCTOR: Dr Tarnya Cox will work with a team of Industry and Investment NSW and CSIRO scientists to monitor the introduction of new strains of rabbit diseases.

LIONS and tigers might not sound like the solution for an Australian pest problem, but a new researcher at Orange Agricultural Institute has found otherwise.
Dr Tarnya Cox recently moved to Orange from Brisbane to take up a role with the RHD Boost project team, where she will develop a monitoring and evaluation plan for new strains of rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV).
Before the move to Orange, Dr Cox completed her PhD with the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre (CRC), studying non-lethal methods of using predator scents to repel grazing pests such as goats and kangaroos.
“I was using predator odours as a form of non-lethal control for grazing pests,” she said. “Basically it’s a chemical fence. It does work. It’s particularly for the semi-urban environment where you can’t apply traditional measures like baiting or shooting.”
Faeces from lions, tigers, dingoes and Tasmanian devils was used to repel both native and introduced pests.
The CRC will find another PhD student to analyse the chemistry and may eventually develop a commercial product as a result.
Dr Cox will now focus on her new role, based at the Vertebrate Pest Research Unit in Orange.
She will conduct field work and analysis to address resistance to RHD in rabbits.
“There is evidence to suggest they’re becoming resistant to the old virus,” Dr Cox said.
“RHD was really effective for a period of time. We’ve brought in some new strains from overseas, which seem to be more effective in cool, wet areas where we’ve had difficulties.”
If it is successful, RHD Boost has a calculated value of $1.4 billion over 15 years and the potential to significantly reduce the impact of rabbits.
Finding better ways to manage pest animals has become a passion for Dr Cox since she studied wildlife biology at university.
“I’ve always been interested in pest management, particularly in the last six or seven years,” she said.
Pest management has to be humane and it has to be effective.
“Effectiveness is subjective, depending on who you’re talking to. You have to have a variety of methods available.”

From here.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

"Rabbit Dressage to take the World by Storm"

Spring in his step: James easily clears another jump while training with his Jena- based Kaninhop club

That rabbits like to hop is hardly a secret. But now European rabbit enthusiasts have harnessed their bunnies' natural talents to create a new spectator sport... rabbit showjumping.
Invented in Sweden in the early Eighties, Kaninhop involves bunnies bouncing their way around courses consisting of several small jumps of varying height and length.
Snoopy, a black-and-white bunny from the German city of Jena, is the star of the local Kaninhop club - and he makes spends his days leaping over all manner of barricades, jumps and rails.

Read more: