Sinikka Crosland is one of our wonderful Board Members, doing all she can for the animals of BC. Visit www.tracs-bc.ca for more information.
Greak work, Sinikka!
TRACS clear for rabbit rescue -- March 27, 2009
Kelowna‘s remaining feral rabbits should be caged, sterilized and cared for, rather than killed, city council will hear Monday. Staff recommend an $11,550, one-year contract be awarded to The Society for Responsible Animal Care, a volunteer-group that‘s been highly critical of a city contractor‘s effort to kill hundreds of rabbits.
“This is wonderful news that has been a long time coming,” TRACS executive director Sinnika Crosland said Thursday. “I‘m really happy the city is giving us the chance to get involved in this way. There aren‘t many of the bunnies left now, but if we get this contract we‘ll do what we can to save them.”
The money can only be used for the “monitoring and control” of the rabbits, according to a city tendering document circulated to nine contractors and groups. TRACS was the only one to submit a proposal. What the condition means, in practise, is that TRACS can only use the money to sterilize any rabbits its volunteers are able to trap. The money cannot be used for the ongoing feeding of the animals. With sterilization costs of about $70 per animal, TRACS could use the $11,550 to neuter or spay about 165 rabbits. Estimates of the remaining wild rabbit population vary from two dozen to about 100. TRACS volunteers intend to trap the remaining animals, have vets sterilize them, then place them either in foster homes or in secure pens. To deal with the burgeoning population of wild rabbits last year, most of which were concentrated along Enterprise Way, the city awarded a contract to EBB Environmental Consulting. The company killed hundreds of rabbits, sparking protests from animal rights groups. Meanwhile, volunteers with TRACS were also out capturing rabbits, caging about 450 of them. The group raised about $30,000 in donations to help cover the cost of sterilizing the animals, and putting them in foster homes or pens. The contract to be considered Monday includes a provision that city staff be satisfied the rabbit problem is abating. If municipal officials believe the rabbit population is on the increase, the contract with TRACS could be cancelled.
If city council awards the one-year contract to TRACS, the group will appeal for more volunteers to help out with the caging of and caring for the rabbits, Crosland said.
“We‘ve had a consistent group of about eight volunteers, but with the weather improving and the nights getting longer, I hope the numbers will go up,” she said.