Pasco stops short of ban on retail sale of rabbits

Pasco stops short of ban on retail sale of rabbits

NEW PORT RICHEY — Regardless of a sturdy push from animal advocates, Pasco County commissioners on Tuesday opted to ban sale of rabbits from community locations this sort of as flea markets, but stopped quick of halting revenue at pet stores.

The fee made the decision to go with its employees advice to commence the approach to prohibit general public sale factors and call for certificates of sourcing for the retail sale of rabbits. In addition, Pasco County Animal Companies will provide educational information and facts on rabbit possession, supply steerage on acquiring new houses for unwelcome rabbits and support animal welfare organizations in obtaining answers to the abandonment of rabbits, this kind of as encouraging with spaying and neutering animals.

Animal Solutions director Michael Shumate remaining the door open for further provisions to shield rabbits. Commissioners said they were additional cozy easing into polices at his recommendation.

Animal advocates sought the retail ban, similar to the one particular that Pasco enacted for pet dogs and cats two decades back. They argued that rabbits are difficult animals and frequently impulse purchases, especially all-around Easter. They are very easily wounded and do not like to be held. They also reproduce fast and chew on all the things.

Some others supplied statistics indicating that only a smaller proportion of rabbits adopted endure in a residence setting a person yr right after invest in. Some are unveiled into the wild, wherever numerous die of hunger. Several discover residences in shelters simply because there are handful of possibilities for abandoned rabbits and number of folks seeking to foster them, the advocates argued.

Kurtis Marsh, president of the county’s only rabbit rescue, Suncoast Household Rabbit Rescue, said persons never recognize how to care for rabbits because of the way they see them when they see they are cared for in a pet retail outlet. Hardly ever do rabbits get enough meals and drinking water in their cages there and new homeowners see that as proper care.

Animal advocate Renee Rivard, from Manatee County, urged the county to enact the retail ban that chain suppliers like Pet Good and Petco did 15 decades back. Orange and Duval counties and Important West have banned retail rabbit product sales.

She beforehand informed commissioners that there are 45 pet retailers in Pasco and 36 of people endure with out providing rabbits. Even pet retailer staff say rabbits really don’t make great pets for all people, she explained.

In 2020, Pasco County joined additional than 50 towns and eight counties in Florida that had already banned retail profits of canine and cats. The shift has been a well known way to choke off small business to pet and kitten mills the place breeding animals are in some cases saved in poor ailments and develop offspring with professional medical complications in the long run.

Advocates explained breeding mills for rabbits have the similar troubles.

In Hillsborough County final month, animal advocates designed the identical arguments about the want to finish retail rabbit product sales as they did in Pasco. But, like Pasco, the Hillsborough County Fee did not concur to the ban, focusing rather on improved education to potential pet purchasers to steer them away from bunny purchases all through the Easter time.