Year of the Rabbit: Deadly start for impulse pet buys
Buying animals on impulse is usually a bad idea for starters because people don't fully understand about caring for the rabbit and what is involved. Pet rabbits are then often given up because they are not what they expected and have special needs.. I really like to push information on correct rabbit care to everyone and tell you to do your research before purchasing a rabbit.. Unwanted rabbits must never be dumped or released into the wild ( or Universities ) for that matter !
Taobao.com is one site where online vendors sell bunnies online and has sold 89 rabbits in the past week at 30 yuan (US$4.5) each. But according to customer comments, many pets died in transit or shortly after arrival. :( Many of the vendors will not give a refund unless the dead animal is returned which is also illegal to send dead animals in the mail... read more I tried to translate the website and do a search for live pets but I think they have possibly been banned since releasing of these news articles. :)
I think sending bunnies in the post is a hideous thing to do! Rabbits can die so easily from heat stroke and I'm wondering what water and food they are getting during transport, and with poor ventilation and going to the bathroom in the box would most likely cause suffocation. It is actually illegal to post live animals this way and the boxes are supposably labelled as Fragile - Glass. Some deliveries take 5 days which is terrible as rabbits need to eat constantly. Correct feeding and diet is so important for them. I feel sick when I think about the poor buns being mailed that way. Rabbits also get easily stressed and can die easily from shock, so death is highly likely from transporting rabbits this way :(
Buying a rabbit online before seeing the bunny is not always a smart idea as you don't get to see what it's health or temperament is really like. It is recommended that rabbits are purchased from a trusted breeder. Bunnies that have not been handled from a young age can often have temperament issues and more likely to be scared of being picked up and handled, which can result in an unfriendly bunny.
Buying Roxanne was definately not an impulse buy for me as I had planned to get her over a year ago was just waiting for the right bunny to be bred . It just happened that I got her just before Year of the Rabbit is to begin, which is a co-incidence! :) .. (incase you were wondering)..
Dead rabbits are showing up in Chinese mailboxes as pets ordered for the Year of the Rabbit aren’t surviving the shipping process, the Shanghai Daily reports.
The Year of the Rabbit commences on February 3 under the Chinese lunar calendar and bunnies are in demand to celebrate it. One online search showed more than 600 vendors selling rabbits at prices from 15 to 2,000 yuan ($2.25 to $300), Shanghai Daily reported.
But, the paper said, the rabbits can spend five days in shipment and many have suffocated or frozen to death in the small boxes in which they are sent.
At least one vendor had stopped shipments because of the deaths, the paper reported.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals issued a statement from its Shanghai office on Friday urging people not to bring a rabbit into their home for the Chinese New Year.
"Rabbits aren't just cute and fluffy - they're high-maintenance animals who require significant resources, equipment, attention and veterinary care," PETA’s Maggie Chen said in a statement.
"Rabbits are complex animals, and potential caretakers - who often purchase the animals on a whim - rarely understand the specific needs of their new companions," the statement said. “Once the novelty has worn off, many bunnies are neglected, dumped at animal shelters, or simply turned loose in the wild.”
That’s the problem an ocean away from China at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada.
The university has been trying to rid its campus of the creatures for two years because of damage to landscaping and playing fields, according to the Times Colonist report. More than 800 have been trapped and moved to sanctuaries, it said.
But people are still seeing the campus as a place to dump their pets so the university is adopting the get-tough policy.
“While UVic is willing to dedicate some resources to rabbit removal, it is unrealistic for the university to divert funding to this task in perpetuity,” facilities management director Tom Smith told the paper.