Rabbits are for life

September 2019

There was some good reading on pet adoption in “To pet … or not to pet," but not much on rabbits.
The most common excuse I hear from parents wanting to dump their rabbit is that “the children have lost interest,” so the rabbit becomes expendable.
Rabbits are not an experiment or a starter pet. No animal is. So, if children want a dog, don’t get them a rabbit or a guinea pig first. Starter-pet mentality belongs in the 1950s and should not be suggested as an option by anyone.
As a parent, if you are not absolutely certain your child is capable of caring for the pet they want, then they should wait until they are much older. Rabbits are not suitable for children and they are certainly not low-maintenance. Starter-pet mentality ends up with people like me expected to take unwanted rabbits because their children are bored with them.
Wendy Parsons


February 2019

I was shocked to read of William Hannaford's recommendation of pindone poison for rabbit eradication. Pindone is not species specific, nor is it recommended by the RSPCA. It causes long, painful bleeding over up to 14 days.

Native rodents, birds and macropods are at risk with pindone bates. And there is also secondary killing of our raptors, as well as toxic leakage into ground water.

On another animal issue - the demise of government spending to the horse racing industry. Hurrah for times of change towards a kinder world. Surely our tax money can be better used than using animals for our entertainment.

Alice Shore

No need to exploit animals for food

July 2018

In response to my recent letter concerning the milking of camels, Nev Richards says camels have been used in the Middle East for thousands of years (Camels a way of life in desert areas, July 18).

That may be so, Nev, but we are not living in the Middle East and it is the 21 century. Here in Australia we have an abundance of healthy and humanely derived foods at our fingertips so we have no need to exploit and kill any animals for food.

Jenny Moxham

Veganism is ‘kinder, healthier lifestyle'

July 2018

In his letter (July 18) Nev Richards missed the point of my previous letter.

As all introduced animals’ numbers increase, we label them pests and are permitted to kill them. Camels were introduced into Australia in the 1800s and now they are no longer useful for haulage.

We have found other ways to exploit them by actually breeding them for the cruel live export trade to the Middle East for their meat, for brutal camel racing clubs and even to America for tourism venues.

To produce milk, camels, like cows, must give birth.

Camels are caring mothers. Calves normally stay with them for five years. To be milked they must be able to see their calves, the calves are then fed artificially.

The males are considered wastage, just as in the dairy industry. So Nev, vegans’ ethos is to do no harm, and is a kinder, healthier lifestyle.

Diane Cornelius

Janet Allen as a delegate delivered this speech. At Animals Australia's AGM in 2016, but is still relevant today. eg On Kangaroo Island.

Thank you for this opportunity to be able to address you all here today.

Most of you won’t know me so I would like to tell you something of my back ground – I have been an animal activist and advocate for almost 4 decades, I have been a member and supported Animals Australia from its inception, financially, on talkback radio, at protests and with countless letters to newspapers. I have been a spokesperson for Cats Assistance To Sterilise Inc and a policy writer and an occasional spokesperson for The Animal Justice Party in South Australia. I served for two and a half years on the Board of the RSPCA.

I want to speak to you about the Federal Government's Threat Abatement Plan for the eradication of 2 million Feral Cats which was approved mid 2015 with an end date of 2020 and has a budget of 4 million dollars. This scheme, which has already started, uses inhumane methods of killing free living cats.

Poisoning by indiscriminately distributing baits laced with 1080 named “Eradicat” (registered in WA only) with a similar one called history being developed for the Northern Territory and Tasmania.

Ed. Note! "1080" is the poison suggested for the feral cat program on Kangaroo Island. This substance is almost universally banned world wide.

I would like to quote from the scientific research back paper that was released as public information when Threat Abatement began.

“It is acknowledged that the toxin 1080, through its complex modes of action, typically manifested in the central nervous system in most animals, causes symptoms that appear to be inhumane. McLeod and Saunders (2013) provide a summary for cats with death from 1080 typically taking 4–24 hours, from either depression of the respiratory centre or ventricular fibrillation.”

They KNOW the death can be slow; they KNOW the suffering yet are not deterred in their actions.

We also know that painful full bodied seizures, liquification and expulsion of internal organs through the mouth and nose, individual muscular groups going into spasm and intense pain are but a few of the effects.

The agonising death from 1080 is also governmentally well known in other countries. It is illegal in Europe and China as it is also a threat to human life. It has been known to enter the water table.

It has been the subject of countless petitions to have it banned here.

National Wild Dog Plan

March 2018

The online text talk in the letter section highlighted just how diverse peoples' opinions can be, in this case about wild dogs. Our native dingo population has lived in harmony with our native animals and indigenous people for thousands of years. We have an horrific history of native animal extinction in Australia.

The National Wild Dog Plan with industry and government backing advocate aerial and ground baiting, trapping and shooting. The poison used is 1080 which is banned in almost every country in the world, except NZ and Australia.

The extremely cruel and indiscriminate poisoning, of dingos and hybrids, causes prolonged and agonizing deaths, not only to target animals, but to scavengers of carcasses, animals and birds like magpies, kookaburras. endangered quolls, and spreads through ecosystems killing insectivorous birds.

1080 gives the illusion of an immediate solution, for short term profit. It is oddly easier to kill dingoes by labelling them "wild dogs,"or "pests." The use of steel traps also causes unimaginable agony and stress.

Lyn Watson of the Conservation Dingo Discovery and Research Centre has been studying dingoes for 30 years. She says,"They are our top predator and are responsible for keeping our biodiversity intact, our only natural defense against feral cats and foxes."  The shift should be from controlling dogs to protecting livestock.

Diane Cornelius