AT Home Pets

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Cruelty to Animals

Causing unnecessary suffering

445.1 (1) Every one commits an offence who
(a) wilfully causes or, being the owner, wilfully permits to be caused unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to an animal or a bird;
(b) in any manner encourages, aids or assists at the fighting or baiting of animals or birds;
(c) wilfully, without reasonable excuse, administers a poisonous or an injurious drug or substance to a domestic animal or bird or an animal or a bird wild by nature that is kept in captivity or, being the owner of such an animal or a bird, wilfully permits a poisonous or an injurious drug or substance to be administered to it;
(d) promotes, arranges, conducts, assists in, receives money for or takes part in any meeting, competition, exhibition, pastime, practice, display or event at or in the course of which captive birds are liberated by hand, trap, contrivance or any other means for the purpose of being shot when they are liberated; or
(e) being the owner, occupier or person in charge of any premises, permits the premises or any part thereof to be used for a purpose mentioned in paragraph (d).

(2) Every one who commits an offence under subsection (1) is guilty of
(a) an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years; or
(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term of not more than eighteen months or to both.
Failure to exercise reasonable care as evidence

(3) For the purposes of proceedings under paragraph (1)(a), evidence that a person failed to exercise reasonable care or supervision of an animal or a bird thereby causing it pain, suffering or injury is, in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, proof that the pain, suffering or injury was caused or was permitted to be caused wilfully, as the case may be.
Presence at baiting as evidence

(4) For the purpose of proceedings under paragraph (1)(b), evidence that an accused was present at the fighting or baiting of animals or birds is, in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, proof that he or she encouraged, aided or assisted at the fighting or baiting.
2008, c. 12, s. 1.

doing some research for a while tonight on Canadian Law and rabbits.

came up with this page from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

This would be FEDERAL Law

Health of Animals Act (S.C. 1990, c. 21)

Health of Animals Regulations (C.R.C., c. 296)

Meat Inspection Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. 25 (1st Supp.))

Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990 (SOR/90-288)

Criminal Code (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-46) This is cruelty to animals. The cruelty to animals part is here.

Specific to Ontario.

Animals for Research Act

Animals for Research Act – general

Animals for Research Act – pounds

Animals for Research Act – research and supply facilities

Animals for Research Act – transportation.

Food Safety and Quality Act, 2001


MEAT inspection

there are more Ontario laws, but putting them all here when they don’t initially seem relevant seems pointless. This is a good start though. :)

Raising animals is legal.

Breeding animals is legal.

Selling animals is legal.

Did you know there are folks out there who want to make all these things illegal?

Do you know why?

Well…PETA, HSUS, Animal Rights people think that animals are to be more valued than people.

They think that animals should be treated like human children.   And though there are some parallels to be made at times, animals are NOT people.

Pets are often treated differently than livestock.

Livestock are often times treated better than many pets, but not always.   Because most every livestock handler — and that be everything from a farmer to your hobby breeder — knows that well-handled livestock are healthier and easier to work with.   It is cheaper to take good care of your livestock than it is to be shipshod about their care.   It is good management to have healthy, happy stock.   JUST as it’s good management to have a healthy, happy, well-trained pet.

It is becoming more and more apparent that how well we care for our animals doesn’t matter.  To the rabid animal rights person it doesn’t matter.   you have an animal, you aren’t taking care of it like it’s a child (or even better than a child) ergo you are awful and we need to put you out of business.      These people are aptly named Animal Supremacists.

Consider if you would the Six Bells Rabbitry.    Ms. Bell owned and operated a LEGITIMATE business.   Because animal rights people disagreed with her they found a way to shut her down.   She has NOT be convicted of anything, but all her animals and her hard work have been finished.  She’s DONE as a breeder.     ALL without a conviction.   She’s done.     AND it was all done illegally (but with the blessing of the sherrif’s department).

Consider also the passing of bill SB917.   Making it illegal for people to sell OR give away animals in any public venue.   Other than the fact that it would be hard to enforce, it means that if you Joe Blow sell a puppy, kitten, cat, dog, rabbit, hamster, cow, sheep, guinea pig or ANY Animal in a public venue that you have just committed animal abuse.   JUST because you sold your animal in a public venue… which includes the sidewalk in front of your house, the parking lot at Walmart, and such like.

They have an upcoming law AB 1117 that says that if you are convicted of animal abuse that EVERY single animal that you own or care for can IMMEDIATELY be confiscated.   So you sell one healthy, well cared for animal on the street outside your home, or down the street because you don’t want strangers casing your house, you have committed animal abuse and now your other animals can be taken from you as well.  THINK about this.

The time is right now folks.  Be alert to the pet laws.


Even if you only breed one rabbit a year, even if you allow your unspayed dog/cat to run at large and get preggers and you sell or give away the pups/kits/offspring.  YOU can lose your dog, your rabbit, your cat, your anything…..even your child’s much loved pet.  You get convicted in California say BYE BYE much loved pet.   You get a criminal record… oh yes…the fun of that!

Pet laws matter and too many people don’t keep an eye on them.

Don’t give PETA, HSUS, Animal care and Control. Animal rights folks more ammunition to attack you with because they are coming FOR YOU.  Fight back, be alert, pay attention.  Don’t run and hide because that’s what they want you to do.    If you are hiding you aren’t fighting.   Make a choice, pick your battles, DO NOT sink to their level.  Be clear about what YOUR rights are.

Be clear about what they want…. no one to own any animal anywhere for any reason.  That is THEIR goal.     Is it yours?   If you do nothing, you are letting them dictate your life and what your goals should be too.

if so, consider this:

Before breeding, please ask yourself:-

Why breed your rabbit?

people can have a whole host of reasons why to breed their rabbit.   They might want to experience the miracle of birth, want to start producing food for their table, want to get more fur/fibre animals, want to start showing rabbits and it could simply be that they want to make some money selling them.

Please… proceed carefully.

1. Let’s say you want to experience the miracle of birth… well.. rabbits kindle 28-35 days after breeding.  The kindling (giving birth) can result in a litter of live babies.  It can also result in a litter of dead babies, dead momma, momma not caring for her babies, babies having something wrong with them, a momma who won’t/can’t care for them, stuck kits, fetal giants, peanuts, max factor kits, and a whole host of other issues.  Granted… 8 times out of 10 everything will work the way it was supposed to but are you truly willing to risk that 2 times out of 10 that it won’t?   Can you afford the vet bills if you have a doe with a stuck kit?  are you prepared to bottle feed kits?   What if you see momma rabbit cleaning up a dead kit by eating it…..are you prepared for that or will it make you think that momma rabbit is a horrid creature?  (she isn’t by the way, she’s just cleaning up).

2. you want to raise them for your table.  YEAH!   Rabbit meat is good.   did you know that not everyone likes rabbit meat?   Perhaps trying it out before you breed for it would be a good idea yes?

3.  you want more fur/fibre animals.   if you are a knitter/spinner…YEAH!   Raise bunnies for your purpose.  But.. let’s say you get more than you need.   Where will those others be housed?   Are you prepared to find them GOOD homes?  people with angoras need to be particularly careful about finding good homes for their rabbits as a poorly maintained angora is NOT a good site to behold and is actual cruelty to the animal.   (twisted matted wool can rip the skin).

4. you want to show your rabbits.   Excellent aim.   Showing rabbits is a great deal of fun.  Not always so fun if you are consistently losing though.  So if you want to show your rabbits, make sure they are worthy of breeding for show rabbits.   Makes the game alot more fun to play.  :)

5. You want to make some money.   Well..there are PLENTY of people who will hate you for wanting to do that.    make money off animals? nasty person you.   (I’m not one of them by the way).  BUT can you live with people thinking of you as being a nasty person?   being targetted by animal rights people?

I think selling animals to meet a need in the market place is just another form of legitimate business.     And selling to the pet market doesn’t make you any more horrid than someone selling hamsters or cattle.   But let’s just say you get 10 babies out of your doe and you are able to home 6 of them.  What will you do with the remaining 4?   answer it honestly.

DO NOT SAY that you will release them into the wild.   THAT WOULD make you a VERY nasty and cruel person.   Why?  well… you are condemning said rabbit to..hunger, being eaten, being shot/poisoned when they dig holes against the foundation of your neighbours house, being hit on the road, and such like.   So … no releasing them.  What will you do with the offspring that you cannot sell?

“What will I achieve through breeding?”

It’s a good question to ask.   There are plenty of people who will say that if you aren’t breeding to further the breed that you shouldn’t be breeding at all.   They may have point.  What’s the point in breeding mutt rabbit to mutt rabbit?   No point at all…other than perhaps filling your table or selling cheap $5 rabbits as pets.     And I won’t say you shouldn’t do that.   But you DO need to consider what you hope to achieve.

Do you want to breed rabbits that are strong and healthy?

  • I ask this because I had a fellow email me once.   I have a doe that has snuffles.  I want to get a baby off her that looks like her.   Can I use my neighbours buck who looks a lot like her to get babies from her?    I wrote him back and said.. Snuffles is MOSTLY an immunologically related illness.  So basically any animal that shows signs of it is an animal that overall is a weak animal.   So breeding it is NOT something you want to do.  PLUS it’s highly contagious.  If momma has, her babies will most likely get it, and you have a strong chance of giving it to poppa.    So really it isn’t something you want to do.

Do you want to breed rabbits that are of good temperament?

  • Let’s say you have a highly cage protective doe.   One who will happily chase you out of the room.   Do you really want to breed babies that will be like that?    Or would you rather breed a rabbit who is happy to let you pet her?   Who is happy to see you – one that comes over to check you out and let’s  you do the same?   (breeding the later is good, breeding the former well….not so good).

“Do I have the time commitment, knowledge and experience to proceed?”

well… do you?   or do you know where to go for help?

What will you do if you have a rabbit that suddenly starts blowing snot?  what will you do if you get fly strike?   what will you do if your rabbit breaks it’s back doing something odd (or even something simple)?    Do you know where to go for help when you need it?

Just so you know… there are numerous highly helpful groups out there who are willing to help as much as they can., Rabbit addict, and homesteading today just to name three that I know of.

IF YOU breed.. I will caution you .. highly highly caution you to avoid the pet rabbit boards, and the house rabbit society people.  They will scourge you for daring to breed your rabbits.   I don’t need that fuss and bother in my life, do you?

Do you know how to properly feed your rabbit, how to house your rabbit, how to build (or buy) a nestbox of the appropriate size for your rabbit, and how to monitor the health of your doe, your buck and any resultant babies?

“Do I have good, responsible and loving homes for the offspring?”

You MUST answer this question and seriously look at it.

If you breed your rabbits will you have homes for them?

If you don’t have homes for them, what will you do with them?

DO NOT release them into the wild.

DO NOT sell them live to a snake person – that’s just not a good way for any rabbit to go.  (most snakes can learn to eat thawed prey).

So what will you do with them?

  • Pay to dump them at the humane society?
  • Give them to a rabbit rescue (who may choose not to support your poor decision making skills)?
  • Will you eat them?   Do you know how to humanely and safely kill a rabbit?
  • Feed them to critters (aka dog/cat/ferret etc)?   If selling for critter food please ensure they are deceased first as some people are less than kind.

Please be kind to the rabbits under your care.   Think carefully before choosing to breed them.

Beyond personal experience,  sources are as follows.

I’ve decided to for the most part to stop helping people when they get themselves into a “spot” with their rabbits.

1. People lie. So many times I’ve been told “it’s a doe”. Did you check it? yep, it’s a doe. Then I get said rabbit and oh.. it’s a buck. You said you checked it. Well.. I was TOLD it was a doe you then reply. SO you didn’t really check it? No. (me thinking privately, what…I have a useless buck here). But it bothers me when People lie. If you don’t know or you didn’t check.. just say so. Don’t lie about it. People deliberately lying is a hot button issue for me.

2. Meat rabbits are meat rabbits. yes, can you sell them as pets. but meat rabbits ARE meat rabbits regardless of their breed, their colouring, their size, their whatever. A meat rabbit is indeed a meat rabbit. From the dutchies to the giant chinchilla’s. Meat rabbits at heart. Be educated about it. But when it’s an emergency situation and you just want them gone… then sell them AS meat rabbits and be willing to accept meat rabbit prices (by the by…that’s about $1.00-1.40/lb live weight right about now). NOT $20-50 each. If someone is helping you….then be polite. You can say no…but then why did you ask for help in the first place? Don’t be acting all offended because you were offered meat rabbit prices for your.. hmmm…MEAT RABBITS.

3. Your baby bunny overpopulation is NOT my problem. If you bought a rabbit from me as a pet…then that’s what I sold it to you as. IF you are then choosing to breed it and have babies you can’t get rid of NOT my problem. I’ll take them if you want me to but I WILL NOT buy them from you as…. get’s NOT my problem. I sold that rabbit as a pet. it’s YOUR choice to do with it as you will. But it’s NOT my problem if you chose to breed that rabbit and now can’t unload the kits.

4. if you bought a pair of rabbits from and said you might breed them. I will have told you the optimal times to breed rabbits, and advised you to think carefully about what you will do with babies if you can’t sell them. If you ignore me and now want me to buy your baby bunnies because you bred them at the wrong time of year (middle of summer or whenever)… NOT MY PROBLEM. I’ll take them free, I’ll try to sell ‘em. But ultimately they will end up in my freezer and go out as cat/ferret/dog/lizard or snake food.

I DO guarantee that I will kill them as humanely as I can.

5. You want me to suddenly help you out with a cage because the cage you bought is too small. When you bought a rabbit from me I TOLD you what size of cage to have on hand. You chose to ignore my advice. NOT my problem. I’ll advise you on where to go for the best prices, I’ll advise you (by giving you a page link) to a site with a TON of different ideas for cages…but it’s NOT MY PROBLEM that you didn’t listen to me… hmm.. me a breeder who knows what size of cage my rabbits need.

6. Don’t make it my problem when I arrange a sale for you for your rabbits and then I find out you lied about the genders of your rabbits and then need to try to get you to make good on things. Don’t make me look bad for arranging a sale with someone who LIES. Be honest. Don’t ask me to help you out. Don’t make me add you to the list of people I will NOT sell rabbits to, buy rabbits from, and what not.  It’s a very short list and I’d like to keep it that way.

Folks…be honest in your dealings.
Consider what you will do with the offspring of your rabbits.
Consider alternatives.
Don’t be rude to people who’ve offered to help you out because well it’s not what you expected. Just be polite.

Am I asking too much?

Just discovered this blog today.  Someone on one of the rabbit boards I’m part of pointed my way there.

It’s called Promote the Rabbit.     This entry made me think I want to look more into this blog.     Are the Differences More Important than Common Ground?  - Vent.

From the About page

Rabbits are awesome! They are incredible producers of meat, fur and fiber that can be kept in a relatively small space. They’re a lower cost animal to show for youth and adults alike than cattle, horses or other livestock. They’re a wonderful pet. Those in the medical profession provide important advancements. Rabbit breeders and owners are too often a target of misunderstanding. We have better tools with social media that are available to everyone with internet. Through the pages of the blog here we want to empower and encourage rabbit breeders and owners to PromoteTheRabbit in ways that are effective. It lets the public out there know about our incredible multi-use animals.

Anyways, that post made me think.
I am guessing the rest of the blog will do that as well, and will hopefully give me tools to combat some of the AR stuff that happens in life when one chooses to have animals. Whether that be breed, show, keep, house, sell, use the fur, use the meat, and so forth.

We need a voice.
We need to know HOW to use that voice.
We must learn how to communicate our rights clearly.
We need to learn how to counteract some of that which is thrown our way.

Otherwise, over time, too many of us will be driven away from our hobby, away from our table, financially we will suffer, and for what? To serve the needs of people who simply don’t often want to let us live our lives as they demand we let them live theirs.

There’s a case in colorado about a lady who had 200 rabbits seized.  it’s been the talk on more than one rabbit board that I am part of.

I’ve been finding it interesting the polarization that happens.

Those who think that if she was raided that she deserved it.

Those who say hold on…let’s look at this a bit more in depth — there is something funky going on here.

And there are always two sides to every story.   But I have to admit, I’m tending more to be the side of hold on… there is something funky going on here.

Knowing the footholds that animal rights people are gaining, seeing how very intractable they are, makes me think that yes… they could push well meaning people to do something that they aught not do.  Raid a business, a small farm, thinking they are doing something right when in actualities they are just serving a hidden purpose.

Rabbits without water?  for how long?  where they dehydrated?

Rabbits without feed?  for how long?  are they in good shape physically?

Dead rabbits?  where were they found?   could they have been planted?

what are the legalities of the search/seizure?

Animal rights people can do NASTY things to make their point, and it’s hard to prove that they didn’t.

One person made the point of saying that taking good video is vital. Have a security system set up that WORKS so you can prove that you take good care of your critters.

In this day and age we can’t make the assumption that people deserve what they get.   They don’t always.   Now mind, as a Christian who is fully aware of the sinfulness of my being…yes… we deserve all that we get and God’s mercy and steadfastness will get us through, but sometimes the things that happen to us aren’t right in the worldly sense.    So before thinking that where there is smoke there is fire.. first consider that some fires are deliberately provoked by outside interests.

Did you know there are as many different ways to raise rabbits as there are rabbit raisers?

What works for you might not work for me.  What works for you might not work for you current herd of rabbits either.

SO… how does one get their current herd of rabbits to meet their expectations?

Breed and cull.


the type of rabbit you want.  If you want to breed show animals, breed for the show market, if you want to breed meat rabbits for your table or your critters table, breed for that.  If you are breeding to meet the demands of a meat market….then set your aims on that.    Know what you want and then set about getting there.

There are different ways that you can do this.

1. buy stock that already meets your standard

2. buy stock that you can find around and use it to get to where you want to go.    note: with this option as you are able to find and purchase them,  buy in stock that is more in line with what you want.  It will further your problem immensely.


I can’t say this enough.  Cull HARD.   You want solid meaty does that raise solid meaty kits.. well.. don’t keep the runt of the litter even if it your personal favourite.  (unless you are keeping it as a pet only and only want incidental litters here and there that aren’t added to your gene pool).   Keep back that solid meaty kit and cull out the rest.

If you want good show stock…don’t look at their colour, look at how they are built and select those rabbits that best meet how you see the standard.  not everyone will see the standard the same way, but do your best to meet the standard of your breed.

Consider temperament issues: do you like rabbits that have no issue with you handling or working with them?   Do you like being able to do whatever you want with your rabbits (aka move them from cage to cage with no rhyme or reason)?   OR do you not mind pandering to the idosyncracies of your individual rabbits?   There are people ALL over the spectrum on this one.  :)

I make a point of wearing different clothes, carrying different items, moving rabbits around for no apparent reason other than I feel like it, I like making my rabbits as bomb proof as I can.    I play with their babies ALOT.. I get them used to having their feet played with, being pushed around a bit, being grabbed in ways unexpected because I want them to be calm and collected when being handled by people.

Don’t leave out health factors.

Do you want a herd that you have to keep fiddling with to keep them healthy OR do you want a herd that does what rabbits are supposed to do – which is to adapt to the surroundings they are in?

If you like fiddling… go for it.

Me…  I don’t want to lose kits with intestinal issues at weaning, or fight with nest box eye, teeth problems, or rabbits that get snot.

SO… I don’t breed, or sell rabbits with those issues.  I cull them to the freezer.

Other health issues that I dislike fiddling with but have no problems with selling : kits that get poopy butt at 3-4 weeks due to lack of personal cleanliness issues, hay allergies, nervous nellie rabbits (I like calm, curious rabbits), and such like.

When I hear of breeders who can breed their rabbits year round even in intense heat and their rabbits THRIVE without remedial help and they got there by selective breeding over the years… I say to myself… if they can do it. , I can do it too.  I can and will breed for rabbits that thrive under the care that I give them.

I will care for them, worry over them, and do my best by them.  But I won’t nurse them through life.  I want rabbits with stamina! :)

Good tempered rabbits that are healthy strong rabbits that settle easily despite where they are housed is what my aim is. :)

Amherst Family. (I’ve pulled quotes from this article)

AMHERST – Eating rabbit meat, raised in her backyard on West Pomeroy Lane, is one way Michelle Chandler has found to pursue her independence.

“I feel strongly that Amherst will be better served by being able to feed itself,” said Chandler. “People are always going to be hungry, and if people have another food source, that’s a good thing.”

“I give the rabbits the best life I can give them, and the gentlest death I can give them,” Chandler said.

Chandler says her rabbits provide several meals for her and her children each week. She also has numerous egg-laying hens on the property and gardens producing fresh fruit and vegetables during the summer months.

“Every person in livestock has to balance between efficiency and sentimentality,” Chandler said. The rabbits, she pointed out, “can turn grass into meat, which we can’t. The only disadvantage is that they are cute and cuddly.”

…  go here to read more. :)




This is an article.  It can be found here.

Some quotes from it:

For the average person’s 1919 budget, an American Blue doe could still command a price of $25, which adjusts for inflation to about $300 today. An advertisement in an issue of Hares and Rabbits that year has an advertiser seeking all or part of five million rabbit pelts. Edward H. Stahl, developer of the American Chinchilla rabbit, became the first person to make a million dollars with rabbits, in 1938. Highly useful, rabbits were not only a significant economic product, but also a standard feature on many small farms.

Times change.

Why Rabbit the article asks and answers:

For the health conscious, rabbit meat contains very little fat and cholesterol. It contains the highest value of protein per calorie of meat.

For the environmentally conscious, a rabbit leaves a smaller environmental footprint, and great organic fertilizer. A doe weaning four litters in a year can produce 1,000 percent of her body weight, compared with a cow that can make 40 percent for her 400-pound calf.

And for those who want the ultimate accountability for their food, a small backyard rabbitry can provide a hands-on lesson in the real circle of life.

Being relatively prolific, properly managed rabbits can produce a steady, consistent supply of meat.

The article goes on to talk about breeding, housing and more.
It’s a good primer for those wanting to get into raising rabbits and worth checking out. :)

The renaissance rabbits are experiencing is a boon for the several heritage breeds only recently on the verge of extinction, and also benefits the small farmer or urbanite backyard farmer. Thanks to the efforts of the handful of dedicated breeders keeping those heritage breeds alive, they are returning to their original niche, and a new generation of rabbit breeders can experience the joys of rabbit raising.

Welcome to the Renaissance.

Read more: