Advice offered on alternatives to rabbit culling following rabbits shot at Cockermouth Cemetery

Posted on the 29th August 2017

Animal Aid has written to Councillor Alan Smith, Leader of Allerdale Borough Council, offering advice on alternatives to lethal control of rabbits.

Media reports have shown that about 30 rabbits have been shot and killed in Cockermouth Cemetery so far this year, with others being shot in Maryport.

In their letter to Councillor Smith, Animal Aid acknowledges that the thought of floral tributes to loved ones being destroyed will undoubtedly be an upsetting experience, but resorting to killing wild animals for simply living should never be an option.

It is not known what measures the council has already taken to deter the rabbits before culling was approved, but there are a number of non-lethal methods that can be adopted in order to prevent rabbits accessing areas and causing damage, the letter explains. These methods include the erection of appropriately sized and secured fences, surrounding the area with dried holly leaves, planting flowers that rabbits seek to avoid – including yellow flag, cyclamen, foxglove, and snowdrops and planting hedges such as box and rhododendron, which are also avoided by rabbits.

Says Animal Aid Campaigner, Tod Bradbury:

‘Wild animals should be treated with consideration and tolerance; they are merely trying to live their lives in a world where their natural habitats are being increasingly eroded.

‘It is absolutely understandable for those who have had floral tributes to their loved ones destroyed to be upset and want a solution – but slaughtering rabbits for living their lives will not resolve the issues.

‘We hope that the council will find the alternatives provided to them useful and seek to adopt them in order to resolve the situation. Humane solutions are not only better for wildlife, they are generally cheaper than lethal methods – thus making them better for the council economically, for residents opposed to killing animals, and for mourners who do not wish to have their floral tributes destroyed.’

Notes for editors

  • Animal Aid’s letter to Councillor Alan Smith is available on request.
  • For more information please contact Tod on tod@animalaid.co.uk or 01732 364546 ext 223

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