The use of a Live Rabbits in the training of greyhound racing dogs has been outlawed in most States because such action causes the animal to be tortured and tormented, causing unnecessary pain, suffering and death. It has even been outlawed to kill and use dead rabbits.
Torturing of an animal for the purpose of training predators would also appear to be needless knowing they have hard wired killing instincts and knowing there are viable ethical alternatives makes this practice a crime for any person to come within the scope of the statutes prohibiting cruelty to "animals."
We the attached signatories
are outraged that FWCC, State Attorney and Hillsborough Co. continue to support and condone the barbaric practice
of feeding "Live Domestic Rabbits" and other animals to wild
predators in rehab. Update 10.4.13
BCR petitioned FWCC to change the Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.)
68A-9.006 Regulation so they can post photos and videos of wildlife in
rehabilitation status without violation.
You may review the FWC Report Here: http://causes.worldpeacemeet.com/stoplivefeeds/fwsw13off8751-dismissed/
Violations of exhibiting wildlife undergoing Rehabilitation:
The finding made by Commission’s law enforcement personnel met negative results
except for one warning issued for exhibition of rehabbed animals.The Florida
State Constitution, specifically Article 4, Section 9, gives the Executive
Director of the Commission the power to issue such special authorization permit
for this activity. "Big Cat
Rescue, have since obtained a special authorization permit from Executive Director Wiley to allow for
the use of live streaming /web cams of the wildlife under the rehabilitation
The torture and killing of Live
domestic rabbits and rats are now permitted to be exhibited on the internet in
videos and photos.
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5911162/bobcat_kittens_2011_rehab_update/ In support of this outdated
FWCC references a document on
"Rehabilitating Wild Birds". This document has no relation to rehabilitating
big cats such as bobcats or panthers, and in fact this document recommends
against Live Feeds: "Feeding – live food can be problematic, so we only
feed dead prey items. These consist of part or whole carcasses of rabbits,
chicks, quails, mice, rats etc.
FWCC claims their Legal Section notes that the practice of feeding live prey
items to carnivores undergoing wildlife rehabilitation, for the purpose of
preparing the wildlife for release to the wild, is a documented and acceptable
industry procedure”. However have not provided this reference nor do they seem
to have any knowledge of the biology or natural history of the wildlife they
purport to give advice on in rehabilitation, but instead reference outside
documents that are outdated having no relevance to feeding "Live Domestic
Rabbits" to predators in wildlife rehab.
FWCC references the NWRA as
condoning the practice of feeding "Live Domestic Rabbits" to
predators in rehab. According to Sandy Woltman the President of NWRA (Feb. 3,
2012); they neither condone nor condemn the feeding of live domestic rabbits to
bobcats undergoing rehabilitation for release into the wild and further state
the NWRA does not have any legal or regulatory authority regarding
FWCC references the WERC -
Procedures for Bobcat Rehabilitation which reference articles dated 1990-2000.
This outdated document references live feeding, however does not promote or
mention using "Live Domestic Rabbits" as food for rehabbing wild
predators, in fact the document clearly states: "As the bobcat grows,
provide it with larger mice, rats, or other prey it may encounter in its
Natural Habitat". Factually, domestic rabbits do
not mimic the behavior of wild prey by any stretch of the imagination.
domestic rabbits with no wild instincts of survival, going nose to nose with a
bobcat, is not close to the behavior of a wild rabbit, and aren’t the same prey
that these predators will find out in the wild. Yet FWCC continues to support
that wild predator contact with a domestic rabbit prepares a bobcat for pursuit
of a speedy wild rabbit. Live feeding is outdated, cruel and inhumane and is
not practiced by Ethical Wildlife Facilities.
FWCC dismisses the knowledge of The
National Bobcat Rescue and Research Foundation which has rehabbed over 500 of
bobcats, and does not practice or promote live feeding to bobcats in rehab. In
fact, they teach ethical and successful bobcat rehabilitation classes at the
ranch without live feeds. Several professional references have been provided to
FWCC that state wild predators are very instinctual, and don’t need the live
prey stimulus to tap into their wildness or train them to be hunters. These are
natural instincts that humans do not need to teach, these references have been
These rehab and biology experts explain
how there is no logical or practical reason to throw live rabbits to any
captive big cat. Enrichment (and yes, even kill training) for the captive cats
can be provided in hundreds of different ways that do not involve the torture
of sentient, intelligent creatures that have no protection under the law.
Despite the facts presented along with thousands
of signatures on this Petition, the 569 signatures on the Change.org Petition https://www.change.org/petitions/florida-fish-and-wildlife-conservation
FWCC Continues to ignore this serious issue of animal
http://causes.worldpeacemeet.com/stoplivefeeds/fwsw13off8751-dismissed/It is our Opinion
that FWCC should
revise its regulations to be consistent with current practices, and should outlaw
the live feeding of domestic rabbits and other animals to captive wild animals
in rehab. (live domestic rats and turkeys).
Thank you for your continued support,
For The Rabbits,