It is unbelievable that Queensland has increased the fine for keeping a pet rabbit in Queensland from $3,750 to $30,000. In all other States of Australia, the keeping of pet rabbits is virtually deregulated. Yet in Queensland, where the most amazing things happen, including the inappropriate jailing of Commonwealth politician, Pauline Hanson (who is now freed), fines for keeping pet rabbits have increased to $30,000.
What are the animal welfare concerns of this bizarre change in regulations about the keeping of pet rabbits in Queensland? How did this change happen? What motivates an Australian State Government to be so different from the rest of the Australian States when considering the domestic rabbit as a pet?
Queensland authorities seem to have adopted a hysterical view that if pet rabbits are legalised, the State will be over-run by colonies of pet rabbits establishing themselves in the wild and becoming a threat to the environment.
Some other States of Australia used to have this view including Western Australia. It was subsequently proven that pet rabbits do not survive in the harsh Australian environment and regulations were lifted in Western Australia that used to limit the number of pet rabbits anyone could keep. The Domestic pet rabbit has little chance of surviving in the wild in Australia due to the harsh climate, lack of appropriate food and water, predators, lack of survival instinct (domestic rabbits have been bred as captive animals for generations) and the prevalence of disease in Australia (Myxomatosis and Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease). The Australian authorities have also reportedly introduced exotic fleas to spread diseases of rabbits (as if we haven't got enough fleas here already, the pharmaceutical industry and vets make a fortune out of poor pet owners trying to control fleas as it is and most people hate being bitten by fleas who are opportunistic feeders.)
Pet rabbits are the most common illegal pet in Queensland. Why is this so? Many people love their pet rabbits. Rabbits can be house trained or kept in the house. They are environmentally better pets than dogs and cats. Rabbits make little noise (they don't bark), and rabbits do not kill native animals and birds as cats do. Making pet rabbits so illegal as to attract a $30,000 fine will only make most people in Queensland less likely to take a sick rabbit to the vet and some people may be more likely to dispose of sick rabbits inhumanely or to let them die when they could be treated. This is a cruel state of affairs. Queensland used to be said to be beautiful one day and perfect the next (describing the weather etc). Perhaps the logo should be changed to Queensland, beautiful one day, balmy the next or Queensland, beautiful one day, cruel the next.
Strange rumours are circulating on the internet including that there are vested interests who swayed the decision against the keeping of pet rabbits in Queensland. These rumours include that there is a large grant given to some people to pay for the upkeep of the "rabbit proof fence" in Queensland which apparently has not kept rabbits out of certain areas anyway. Rumour has it that if the spin on the dangers of rabbits to the environment in general is allowed to wane, people benefiting from grants plus some public servants may be out of a job. Who knows what the truth is behind the huge increase in fines for keeping pet rabbits in Queensland but one would suspect that commonsense is completely lacking in the review of these regulations and that the review of the fines for keeping pet rabbits in Queensland was not based on fact.
If you want to protest about the regulations in Queensland that make having a pet rabbit illegal and which direct that a pet rabbit owner if found, would be fined $30,000 and their pet rabbit destroyed, write to Queensland Premier (head of State) Premier Peter Beattie at Hon Peter Beattie MP(Premier and Minister for Trade, Queensland) and cc The Hon Stephen Robertson (Minister for Natural Resources and Mining, the Department which oversaw the review of pet rabbit regulations) NR&Mines@ministerial.qld.gov.au or write to Minister Robertson direct at Hon Stephen Robertson MP (Minister for Natural Resources and Minister for Mines,Queensland State Government). Support freedom for pet rabbit owners in Queensland and appeal to overturn these stupid and groundless regulations that have no basis in fact for their very existence other than hysteria and jobs for the boys.
For more information on Queensland rabbit regulations visit
Regulations for Keeping Pet Rabbits in Queensland
Hon Peter Beattie MP
Premier and Minister for Trade
Premier Peter Beattie,
P.O. Box 185,
Albert Street QLD
Web page www.thepremier.qld.gov.au
Phone (07) 3224.4500
International +61 7 3224.4500
Fax (07) 3221 3631
International +61 7 3221.3631
Phone (07) 3406 7304
International +61 7 3406 7304
Fax (07) 3406 7007
International +61 7 3406 7007
Please contribute towards helping with an appeal to overturn these regulations by donating to the House Rabbit Society of Austraia Inc.
If you are looking for information about keeping rabbits in Australia visit Australian pet rabbit health and information or email Marguerite at email@example.com
Please contribute to the House Rabbit Society of Australia Inc. to help us continue our campaign to stop cruelty to Australian rabbits, to stop the deliberate spread of diseases to kill rabbits and to educate the public about the correct care of rabbits in Australia. Funds are also needed to make Freedom of Information requests about the RCD issue (RCD baits are not legalised in Australia yet). Funds are also used to mail information obtained from FOI and other sources about RHD to overseas scientists and Australian scientists for comment.
You can now contribute to the House Rabbit Society of Australia Inc. in two ways.
(1)Contributions can be made through the internet banking system (available in Australia only)
To contribute through the internet, you need to have the option of paying bills through the internet with your bank.
The option to pick once you are logged in to your account is the "pay anyone" option (this is available at Challenge Bank website if that is your bank).
To contribute to the House Rabbit Society of Australia Inc. through the internet
(available only within Australia) you need the following details
Name of Account : House Rabbit Society of Australia Inc.
Bank, State and Branch number (BSB): 036-081
Account number: 16-5046
The Name of the Bank: Challenge Bank
Branch Name and Address: 109 St Georges Terrace
Western Australia 6000
Then email your details to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want confirmation and a thankyou for your contribution once it is received.
To contribute to the House Rabbit Society of Australia Inc by mail
Please follow the following instructions.
Please send your details including
your full name and address together with contribution
House Rabbit Society of Australia Inc,
P.O. Box 30,
Western Australia 6148
Current high priority campaigns include:
Save Australian rabbits from death by Myxomatosis
(Legalise the Myxomatosis vaccine).
Australian pet rabbits are not allowed access to a vaccine to protect them against Myxomatosis and yet the Australian authorities apparently spread the disease.
Stop the legalisation of VHD food baits in Australia.
Australian authorities want to legalise RCD/VHD on food baits which they will spread to infect wild rabbits who eat the baits. Pet rabbits in Australia are not always vaccinated by their owners and an increased level of VHD in the environment due to food baits will cause more VHD deaths in pet rabbits (mosquitoes, fleas and other vectors will transmit the disease from wild to pet rabbits).
Click here for pictures of rabbits dying or dead from Myxomatosis and RHD
Australian rabbit issues
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December RHD news update
A West Australian Vet writes "A bad month for Myxomatosis" (Dec 1999)
Aussie Government website sadly lacking in current information on VHD/Myxomatosis
Cruelty free products (not tested on animals) - Australia
Rabbit articles and anecdotes
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Heaven allows entry for a man and his rabbit companion (Lovely story)
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Pet rabbit message board
Visit the HRS of Australia Inc links page
Picture similar to that of three sisters, Sally, Josie and Tricia rehomed by the House Rabbit Society of Australia Inc in January 2000
The House Rabbit Society of Australia Inc. exists to educate the public about the correct care of rabbits and also to oppose cruelty to rabbits.
The Society does not support the breeding and exploitation of rabbits nor does it support the breeding and use of rabbits for meat or fur.
The Society also opposes the sale of rabbits in pet shops and the use of rabbits in cosmetic testing.
The House Rabbit Society of Australia Inc also promotes rehoming of abandoned and unwanted rabbits wherever possible to responsible homes.
Click here to return to Rabbit Information Service