UVic lies about bunny cull
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The University of Victoria has unleashed a mass cull of the campus rabbits. They say the rabbits are digging up holes and causing athletes to trip and injure themselves.
Last week, I went to UVic and found…well, lots of rabbits but no holes on the ground. I walked all over the campus in various parts and failed to trip on any rabbit holes. In fact, the rabbits live mainly under bushes and big trees where they can hide. Any burrowing they do would be right underneath the trees. If athletes are walking into bushes, maybe they have bigger problems to worry about.
I checked out two athletic fields. Both were so well fenced off that not a single rabbit was seen in the fields. In fact, the only part of the campus free of rabbits are the two fields. And one of them is an artificial turf.
At another part of the campus, I saw a couple of young teenage girls feeding the rabbits. I asked why they were feeding them. One of the girls said “they are going to kill all the bunnies and I just want to do something for them before they die”. I also spoke with some Chinese students who were admiring the rabbits and obviously not aware of the situation and didn’t speak much English. They were shocked and saddened when I explained to them in Mandarin what UVic is doing.
The university knows that people love the rabbits. They use them as a selling point to attract foreign students and sell rabbit themed souvenirs. As per the Director of Facilities Management, Tom Smith, “The rabbits will always have a presence on campus.” Tom Smith is the man “managing” the cull.
It’s not surprising that the Director of Facilities Management is not an expert on rabbit breeding. He can’t even answer any questions about it. I’ve tried to call him 5-6 times to get his knowledge on rabbits. But so far he has refused to respond. Tom believes he can just cull some of them and leave the rest for decoration. But unfortunately, rabbits are not ornaments, they are breeders. With a gestation period of 28 days, they will breed faster than the exterminator can trap and kill them. There’s no way to manage the population unless there’s a permanent program to keep culling the rabbits forever. The partial cull is either going to make no dent in the population or encourage a population explosion. The only survival mechanism these delicate, bottom of the food chain creatures have is breeding. So what do you think is going to happen when the UVic succeeds in killing a large number of rabbits? I’m thinking there will be a bunny baby boom.
The rabbit cull at UVic is not just cruel, it is a perfect recipe for a disaster. But the university has made the decision based on pure ignorance of the animals they are trying to manage. If UVic really wants a long term solution to the rabbit population problem, then the best thing to do is to sit down with people who understand rabbits.
I strongly encourage everyone to contact Tom Smith (250-721-7592) and ask him about his long term rabbit population management plan. If he won’t speak to you, please leave him a message. He needs to know that people do not approve of these thoughtless actions.