While no one is sure of the origins of the legend of the Easter Bunny, one popular belief is that the rabbit came to be associated with Christianity’s most important holiday as a symbol of new life. But in many parts of Australia, these symbols of new life are having their own lives cut drastically short and are being killed in painful and terrifying ways.
Pindone, a poison commonly used to kill wild rabbits, interferes with the body’s ability to clot blood. After rabbits ingest the poison, it takes anywhere from six to 14 days for them to die. During that time, they suffer tremendous pain as their internal organs haemorrhage and blood drains from their anuses, noses, mouths and eyes. The RSPCA opposes the use of Pindone because of the “long, slow and painful death” it causes.
And the rabbits aren’t the only ones who suffer. Pindone is indiscriminate, often poisoning other animals who eat the bait or sick rabbits, including swamp wallabies, redneck wallabies, kangaroos, possums, antechinus, bandicoots, owls, eagles and domestic dogs and cats.
What’s more, studies have shown that poisoning is not effective long-term for limiting populations. Killing off rabbits can actually cause their populations to increase since more food and space will then be available. Immunocontraceptives, however, could offer a humane and permanent solution to rabbit control, and non-lethal methods, such as exclusion fencing, can keep them at bay.
Easter is a time to celebrate love, life and new beginnings. Let’s make this holiday the time that we start showing compassion to rabbits.
Please contact your local council and urge it to stop allowing the use of Pindone and also consider humane, effective contraceptive methods for rabbit control.