Recent Press Release


The Battle of the UVic Bunnies

(Victoria B.C. Canada, April 7,2010 – University of Victoria) A rapidly-growing, vocal group of community members, animal activists, UVic students and employees, are gearing up and organizing for the “battle of the UVic bunnies' lives.”

The campaign to “save the Uvic bunnies” was initiated last week following the publication of misleading and inaccurate information about the UVic Feral Rabbit Project, and the announcement of an imminent cull of more than a thousand rabbits inhabiting the campus. For over 18 years, domesticated rabbits have had a presence on the University grounds; They have been appreciated by thousands of people - locally, nationally, and internationally. A recent online petition that has reached almost a thousand signatures in just a few days proves there is very strong interest in “saving the bunnies” and wants the humane non-lethal option to be seriously considered.

Recent media coverage, suggesting the Feral Rabbit Pilot Project was a “flop” is absolutely untrue. The pilot succeeded in testing a number of objectives that could point the way to the development of a campus-wide, non-lethal plan that would cost-effectively reduce the rabbit population and leave a healthy, sterile managed colony. The idea of a “mercy kill” is ridiculous when there is proof that the majority of the rabbits are not only healthy, but “fit”. A “humane” cull is not possible as the only so- called “humane cull” that is being used now is through lethal injection, using heart-stick puncture. This practice is not only cruel and painful but is outlawed in many parts of the world as most veterinarians will not perform the procedure unless the rabbits are heavily sedated. The SPCA has stated publicly, on their website, that they will not support the University’s position on culling until all non-lethal options have been exhausted. And again, this is the million dollar question: Have all other options been exhausted? The answer is a resounding “no.”

Mass killing, through a cull, has proven to be ineffective – numerous studies show this clearly. Rabbits will return and multiply again and again so it also not cost effective.( you have to keep coming back to cull the rabbits) The alternative – TNR – “Trap Neuter and Release” is a responsible, compassionate, population- management approach. Statistics from a literature review demonstrate that TNR is more effective and cheaper than culling. The Stanford University Project - one of many successful projects throughout North America, has shown that over a period of a few years their feral cat population decreased from 1500 to a stabilized, sterile colony of only 250. As thousands of people already know, TNR is the best way go and they will be speaking out vehemently against the cull.

The University who prides itself on environmental stewardship of the earth should carefully rethink their position before starting this bloodbath. Otherwise, the entire international community will have a front row seat in viewing this deplorable atrocity and will also bear witness to the University’s hypocrisy. Worst of all, the actions they are taking are absolutely unnecessary when there is a solid solution – Trap, Neuter and Release - a credible and doable option that will make all parties happy in this “Battle of the UVic Bunnies.”

If you want more information on this story or would an interview please contact Kathleen Terrio at (250) 995-2431 or

# # #