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Connecticut Town Bans Sale of Rabbits and Chicks Before Easter

April 12, 2017 | rabbit / pet / easter

With Easter a week away, we have a cheer for the city of Stamford, Conn., which is right in our backyard, for passing an ordinance that prevents the sale of baby rabbits or fowl under eight weeks during the four-week period leading up to Easter. It also bans the practice of dying rabbits, baby chicks, ducklings or other fowl to sell them.

The restriction and others are meant to dissuade parents from purchasing rabbits to liven up their Easter celebrations.

Tilford Cobb, the city’s animal control officer, told the Stamford Advocate that lack of a restriction on Easter season sales has resulted in a glut of rabbit, chicken and duck surrenders at shelters and to rescue groups.

Last year, New York City banned the sale of rabbits entirely. But animal shelters and rescue groups there say there is no shortage of homeless rabbits looking for love.

“Rabbits are wonderful pets but they take care and dedication, just like all animals,” Risa Weinstock, executive director of Animal Care Centers of NYC, told the NY Post.

NYC Council Members Elizabeth Crowley and Corey Johnson pushed for the ban after hearing horror stories from rescue groups.

“People think they are great Easter gifts and they buy them for their kids,” Brooklyn-based animal rescuer Sean Casey told the NY Post. “Then they get big and the kids stop cleaning them and out they go.”

Casey, who is also caring for rabbits in need of good homes, said some people even release the bunnies in parks thinking they are wild animals.
Casey said rabbits can be perfect pets for people who give them the special diet they need and ample space to exercise.

“These are social animals,” he said. “You can’t lock them in a small box somewhere.”

We applaud legislation that reminds people that choosing to have a pet is a lifelong commitment and that addresses the issue of pet homelessness.

Rabbits typically live 10-12  years. For people willing to make a lifelong commitment, Norwalk, Conn.-based Hopalong Hollow Rescue has many rescued bunnies who are looking for their forever home.

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