Photo Diary 2

May 2nd

May 2nd continued......

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Mute Swans Burnham Overy Staithe

Sedge Warbler                                         Spoonbill                                                                                                                      Wheatear

Rabbits: We owe them......

 

Rabbits are a keystone species, not only in their native Iberia but also here in the UK and therefore a very important species ecologically.  Man has taken these animals from the wild and selectively bred them to man’s own aesthetic preferences for exhibiting and for the pet trade.  In doing so he has weakened their ability to live or in many cases caused their demise, due to altering the very traits that Natural Selection via evolution has selected to enable these animals to survive.

I have spent and continue to spend many hours actually living with Rabbits and through observation and interaction with them have learned a great deal about their ecology.  In doing so, I have become very affectionate to this animal so much so it has become a personal favourite.

I have also seen first-hand the complications and problems these selectively bred alterations can have, completely to the detriment of the animal and therefore I can only conclude that people and particularly breeders and the governments allowing these practices to continue really do not care.  Perhaps they think God gave them these animals to do what they want with them.  Whatever way you look at it, none of these enforced traits and so-called care of rabbits benefits the animal.  I also acknowledge that rabbits are not the only animals to have this man/god implications inflicted upon them.

Therefore, I find the likes of Chris Packham’s description of these animals on Springwatch as being viewed in terms of ‘tonnage of meat’ very offensive and indeed very unscientific.  Perhaps if his beloved poodles had been termed in this way by those living in places such as Vietnam where dogs are consumed for meat he would have thought twice about his words, or maybe not!  

I also find the ‘breeders’ of these animals repellent.  They have taken to putting metal rings on the rabbit’s hind legs and advocate keeping them in hutches, which is no different to keeping an Orca in a ‘swimming pool and there is plenty of protests about that!

I would also imagine people buying rabbits from pet shops or elsewhere as a pet for themselves or their children on the basis of the ‘sweet little cuddly animal’ that can just be put in a hutch and forgotten about when the ‘honeymoon period’ wears off have no idea how much these animals cost, if they become ill and have to go to the vets, where they are viewed as ‘exotics’!

On the other hand, if this happens, in many cases rabbits are abandoned, leaving them to die in pain or get predated.  

My rabbit called Benji has been mentioned many times on this website and he was a point in case, as he was abandoned with abnormal excessively long teeth, which subsequently had to be removed, when (at least in his case) he was rescued and taken to a rescue centre.  Benji and had many more operations after he was adopted by my friend Sally Clarke and was constantly ill throughout most of his life.  The removal of these teeth meant that he could not could not eat ‘normal’ rabbit fare or clean himself properly, resulting in a build up of faeces clinging to his hind fur, which had to be removed and cleaned.  Faye Bethal of Toll Barn Vets performed many operations and procedures on Benji, until finally three years ago 14th February; my friend Benji could take no more and died.  Even now I find the memories, at best disturbing.

The basic premise of this is that whilst the like of rescue centres and the RSPCA etc try and rescue these many mistreated animals, the cause of the problem is not being addressed: Rabbits and other animals are constantly being bred for commercial gain and are treated as a commodity and kept in circumstance, which are highly inappropriate (understatement!) to the way their wild kin have been evolved to live, but then even wild rabbits are viewed as a pest species and man in his infinite wisdom (read stupidity) introduced Myxomatosis to eradicate rabbits via a torturous death.  If you have ever seen the effects caused by this virus and are not affected then I can only despair!  The only pest species on this planet, with far too many numbers in plague proportions is Homo sapiens!

 

Go to this link and please sign this petition:

 

Ban the breeding of pet rabbits in the UK