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: