We are seeing some movement on the government front. Thank you to Richmond East MLA Linda Reid and Richmond mayor Malcolm Brodie for stepping in on our behalf, and as always, huge kudos to Gail Terry of the Richmond Auto Mall for standing up for the abandoned bunnies (and their offspring) dumped on their property! (The rabbits are considered invasive ‘wildlife’ by the provincial government, they want them dead).
Our gov’t reps have received directives or at least queries from the Minister in charge. We’ve prepared a response and collected letters of support from veterinarians and the permitted sanctuary and expect some answers soon. The gist remains that:
1) many of the rabbits are too small and fragile to adhere to the provincial government’s ‘export only’ policy that dictates that all of our rescued rabbits must be sent to a sanctuary in Washington State as part of their ‘export only’ policy.
2) They are willing to look at allowing us to ‘adopt’ out rabbits rather than ‘export’ them.
3) The government still needs to look at the definitions of their own policy regarding ‘adoptions’.
A separate meeting with another arm of Fish & Wildlife (the responsible dept) was also enlightening. They seemed to also be more receptive to our small colony and rural adoption initiatives, but we still need to be allowed to do so.
That meeting also yielded a strong plea from the department for the rabbit rescue community to organize itself into a more cohesive group with a more unified voice. Rescue dissension, conflicting information, opposing goals, ‘alarmist’ media and other problems are greatly affecting the government’s ability and desire to properly tackle the issue.