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August 2010

THE
• US rabbits discarded

B UN OL O GI S T •

Adopt me!
Life at the Do Hop Inn
Good news for UK rabbits
Your FREE monthly rabbit newsletter •
brought to you by BOING • Why spay & neuter
To join, visit www.scribd.com/bunologist
or www.boingonline.com

What’s News? Worthworths are RABBIT FREE!


Since finding out that Coles
Driver avoiding rabbit crashes into pond supermarkets are selling rabbit,
26 July 2010 – Austrian Times (Austria) we contacted Woolworths
supermarkets to enquire about
A young woman had a narrow escape as she drove into a rabbit.
lake – after trying to avoid a rabbit.
We are very happy to report that
Heike Geiblinger from Rohr in Upper Austria’s Krems Woolworths supermarkets are
Valley steered her car into a pond next to the road after rabbit meat free!!!
spotting the rodent in her headlights yesterday.
We hope they stay that way!!
She only suffered minor injuries after ending up in the
water, while her Fiat was wrecked.

"I managed to get out of the sinking car through a side


window in literally the last second," said the 20-year-old.

**Rabbits are NOT rodents. They are lagomorphs. (BOING)


Radical Rabbit
Our new group Radical Rabbit
Mr Rabbit for PM is growing & developing rapidly.
11 August 2010 – Herald Sun (Australia)
Radical Rabbit aims to educate
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has denied she's the community about all the
deliberately slurring her speech in order to call the many issues that face rabbits.
opposition leader "Mr Rabbit" instead of Mr Abbott.
Radical Rabbit now has a draft
The Prime Minister appeared genuinely perplexed when website that is growing &
asked today if she was lengthening the "r" of "Mr" in order changing –
to call her opponent "Mr Rabbit".

"Mr Rabbit? What do you mean," she said when asked mid- www.radicalrabbit.org
way through an otherwise serious interview: "Is the Mr
Rabbit deliberate on your part?" If you have any suggestions or ideas for the group or the
website, please email us at crusaders@radicalrabbit.org
ABC Radio's Jon Faine then had to explain the issue had
been running hot on talkback radio. If you feel like chatting and keeping up with news & stories
about issues facing rabbits, feel free to join our Radical
Ms Gillard was genuinely surprised - and perhaps a little Rabbit Facebook page -
hurt.
http://www.facebook.com/?sk=2361831622#!/
”I wasn't conscious of that at all," she said.
group.php?gid=367977773121
"If I am doing it I'm not intending to."
The ASPCA estimates it costs $730 a year to care for a
Summer brings glut of rabbit. The first year, it will be about $1,055 because of
$325 in capital costs (cage, litter box, spay and neutering).
unwanted, discarded A new owner will have to do some rabbit-proofing in areas
where the animals will roam, Saul said. Rabbits need to
rabbits chew their entire life — it's not a phase they will outgrow,
so cable guards and furniture leg guards will have to be
4 August 2010 – Associated Press (US)
installed.
CALIFORNIA. — Easter bunnies grow up and the novelty
Rabbits seem to flourish in mature adult homes, Saul said,
wears off. Come summer, people often just dump the
because they prefer quiet, bookish pursuits to
bunnies.
rambunctious play in rowdy homes.
That's why the number of rabbits in animal shelters across
At The Burrow, the rabbits seem to know it's safe and often
the country swells every summer.
greet visitors. One of the friendliest is Nutmeg, a cinnamon
colored red Rex with velvet feeling fur who will stick her
"We are in crisis" said Caroline Charland, founder of The
nose through the cage to be petted.
Bunny Bunch, which has 350 rabbits who need homes.
She was found alongside a road with a broken leg.
Charland tries to keep the group's rabbit count around 300,
but that isn't always possible, especially in the summer. Kill
Education is a big part of what The Bunny Bunch does.
shelters throughout Southern California will call her and
"We talk as many people out of getting a rabbit as we adopt
say: "We are euthanizing today. Can you take any rabbits?"
to," Charland said.
Domestic rabbits who make it to shelters and to people like
People who get rabbits as gifts or from a store will keep the
Charland are the lucky ones, said Betsy Saul, co-founder of
rabbits outside, where they can quickly die in heat, or in a
Petfinder.com, an online pet adoption database.
small cage, where they can become aggressive in a
confined space, developing what is called "cage rage" as
"People take rabbits out and figure they will survive on their
they protect their small area, she said.
own," and that's usually a deadly decision for the animals,
Saul said.
Shelters, rescues and animal experts all have one major
piece of advice when it comes to rabbits: Give as many
"Rabbits can die of heart attacks from the very approach of
Easter bunnies for gifts as you want next year — but make
a predator," said Mary E. Cotter in New York. She is with
them all chocolate.
the House Rabbit Society, an international nonprofit
organization that rescues rabbits from animal shelters.

The Associated Press, the American Veterinary Medical


Association and the American Pet Products Association Adopt me!
estimate rabbits are the pets of choice in about 2 percent of
American households — the same as horses. But in Name: Squiggle & Mr Bun
shelters, the animals come in third behind dogs and cats,
Contact person: Ruth at ruthybee@gmail.com
said Ana Bustilloz, a spokeswoman for SPCA in Los
Angeles. Location: Melbourne

Rabbits make good pets because they can easily be Readers might remember these two separate buns in the
trained to use a litter box, come when you call them and last newsletter. Squiggle needed to move quickly so she
will play tag, Cotter said. They are inquisitive, intelligent, found a new home with Mr Bun and has bonded very well
sociable and affectionate. with him. Both buns are now looking for a home together.

But, she warned, rabbits aren't for everyone. Mr Bun (dark bun in front) is a
handsome fellow who was found
They live seven to 10 or more years, generally they are not as a stray in Dandenong. He
good around small children, they must live indoors and waited at the pound for 8 days but
require daily feeding, grooming, exercise, together time and nobody came to collect him. Mr
cleanup. Bun is around one year of age
and is desexed & vaccinated.
Rabbits have long been used in research. "Think about
what's necessary from a research animal. They are loving, Squiggle is a 3 year old desexed
kind, trusting, incredibly domesticatable, trainable. The very female bun.
things that damn them to be such good subjects make
them great pets," Saul said in a telephone interview. If you would like to know more about this lovely couple,
please contact Ruth at ruthybee@gmail.com
Life at the Do Hop Inn Good news for UK
By karen
rabbits
Another busy month at the Do Hop Inn! Lulu had an 3 August 2010 - http://blog.peta.org.uk
exploratory operation to find out why she was having
difficulty going to the toilet at times. After more than a decade of
scientific research, negotiations
The lump that was felt near her bladder was found to be and lobbying by PETA and
scar tissue from her spay. The scar tissue had wrapped other animal protection groups,
around her colon and attached itself to her bladder, which the Organisation for Economic
is why she sometimes was having difficulty. The scar Co-operation and Development
tissue was unable to be removed so she has since healed (OECD) has announced that it
from her operation and we are managing her problem with has approved new, non-animal
paraffin oil as a laxative to soften her poos. Also, we are testing methods for skin
thinking that grass hay would be better for her as her poos irritation.
are very large when eating oaten hay.
What does that mean? Until recently, chemicals of all kinds
Peanut & Stuart recovered from their early morning dog were tested for skin irritation using painful tests on rabbits.
attack last month. We have now moved them to our studio, But now, around the entire world, the standard way of
where they share part of the room with Missy & Charlie (our testing for skin irritation will be to use high-tech, modern
angoras). methods – the rabbits will be spared. This really is a global
deal: the OECD produces binding safety testing guidelines
Missy & Charlie had a major haircut!!!! It took about ten for its more than 30 member nations, representing almost
days to shear off the thick matts on our fluffy angoras. all of the world’s largest economies, and many countries
Long haired rabbits matt very quickly and seeds are caught which aren’t members also follow the OECD’s guidelines.
inside the fur. Missy had nasty seeds stuck under her chin
(which she often gets). Charlie had some really nasty tiny Animal-friendly methods employ in vitro (test tube) toxicity
sharp ends of hay stuck in his skin! We really need to screening, “skin” grown in laboratories and computer
groom our fluffies much more often but, as anyone with models. While non-animal methods have been recognised
long haired rabbits would know, the matts seem to sneak as valid to test corrosivity (in other words, whether
up and grow overnight!! something will permanently damage the skin) for some
time, these are the first methods to be recognised as
Anyone with long haired rabbits, or considering taking on a effective to measure skin irritation, thus allowing for a
long haired rabbit, should understand how much work they complete assessment of skin effects without the use of
are. They are not a rabbit to take on lightly unless you are animals.
prepared to spend the time, the money and sometimes buy
the special grooming equipment needed to deal with their The methods that have just been adopted by the OECD
thick fur. use reconstructed human skin models that successfully
reproduce the effect on human skin and allow reliable,
The last bunny to come accurate measurements of damage in a way that applying
& live with us (Ginger – chemicals to the shaved, raw skin of rabbits cannot. In
pictured left) was addition to the pain and distress endured by the rabbits
desexed. who are used in animal tests, the OECD also considered
evidence that the animal tests do not accurately measure
He recovered really whether a substance is likely to be an irritant to human skin
well, particularly since I – in other words, these methods should be more effective
was concerned about in protecting humans too.
his missing bits! They
were there but never We are particularly proud that PETA played an integral role
really popped down to in this process. PETA financially supported the rigorous
see us even though he scientific testing of one of the non-animal methods that
is over 2 years of age. have just been approved, which helped to produce the
Fortunately, everything scientific evidence that led the OECD to approve the use of
was found & now the method. (PETA US has given more than $850,000 over
removed. Ginger is the past 10 years to support the development and
now happily living implementation of non-animal testing methods.) These new
indoors and we are methods will spare tens of thousands of rabbits every year
looking forward to finding him a girlfriend!! from unnecessary suffering. And that should make
everyone feel pretty good
Why spay and neuter
rabbits
By the US House Rabbit Society
www.rabbit.org

• Altered rabbits are healthier and live longer


than unaltered rabbits. The risk of reproductive
cancers (ovarian, uterine, mammarian) for an
unspayed female rabbit is virtually eliminated by
spaying your female rabbit. Your neutered male
rabbit will live longer as well, given that he won't be
tempted to fight with other animals (rabbits, cats,
etc.) due to his sexual aggression.
Is surgery safe on rabbits?
• Altered rabbits make better companions. They
are calmer, more loving, and dependable once the Surgery can be as safe on rabbits as on any animal.
undeniable urge to mate has been removed. In Unfortunately, the vast majority of veterinarians aren't
addition, rabbits are less prone to destructive experienced with safe rabbit surgery techniques. Don't
(chewing, digging) and aggressive (biting, lunging, allow a veterinarian with little or no experience with rabbits
circling, growling) behavior after surgery. to spay or neuter your rabbit. Using isofluorene as the
anesthetic and appropriate surgical and after-surgery
• Avoidance of obnoxious behavior. Unneutered techniques, spaying and neutering of rabbits is as safe as
male rabbits spray, and both males and females for any other animal.
are much easier to litter train, and much more
reliably trained, after they have been altered.
At what age should rabbits be spayed or
• Altered rabbits won't contribute to the problem neutered?
of overpopulation of rabbits. Over 15 million
adorable dogs, cats, and rabbits are killed in Females can be spayed as soon as they sexually mature,
animal shelters every year. In addition, unwanted usually around 4 months of age, but many veterinarians
rabbits are often abandoned in fields, parks, or on prefer to wait until they are 6 months old, as surgery is
city streets to fend for themselves, where they riskier on a younger rabbit.
suffer from starvation, sickness, and are easy prey
to other animals or traffic accidents. Those rabbits Males can be neutered as soon as the testicles descend,
who are sold to pet stores don't necessarily fare usually around 3-1/2 months of age, but many veterinarians
any better, as pet stores sell pets to anyone with prefer to wait until they are 5 months old.
the money to buy, and don't check on what kind of
home they will go to. Many of these rabbits will be When is a rabbit too old to be spayed or
sold as snake food, or as a pet for a small child
who will soon "outgrow" the rabbit. neutered?
• Altered rabbits can safely have a friend to play Veterinarians will have their own opinions on this, but in
with. Rabbits are social animals and enjoy the general, after a rabbit is 6 years old, anesthetics and
company of other rabbits. But unless your rabbit is surgery become more risky.
altered, he or she cannot have a friend, either of
the opposite sex, or the same sex, due to sexual It is always a good idea, in a rabbit over 2 years of age, to
and aggressive behaviors triggered by hormones. have a very thorough health check done, including full
blood work. This may be more expensive than the surgery,
• Spaying and neutering for rabbits has become but it will help detect any condition that could make the
a safe procedure when performed by surgery more risky. This is especially important if
experienced rabbit veterinarians. The House anesthetics other than isofluorene are used.
Rabbit Society has had over 1000 rabbits spayed
or neutered with approximately .1% mortality due to
anesthesia. A knowledgeable rabbit veterinarian If you’re in Melbourne, we highly recommend the
can spay or neuter your rabbit with very little risk to Melbourne Rabbit Clinic
a healthy rabbit. Don't allow a veterinarian with little
or no experience with rabbits to spay or neuter
your rabbit.

www.melbournerabbitclinic.com