I am corresponding with you to see if you are aware of the recent seizure of purebred rabbits and equipment from a reputable breeder in Indiana and the subsequent surgical alteration of some of the animals and dispersal of the rabbits to various other states for "adoption" as well as the vitriol and propaganda being spewed by the rescue, animal rights and house rabbit society and SPCA people who are defaming, vilifying, and harassing the rabbit ranching/breeding/enthusiast community for what is really just another clash in the culture war; where self proclaimed tolerant and self-identified enlightened people, who believe they have progressed beyond traditional and historic practices, morals and values, want to impose their way of life on the rest of the populace and are trying to do so by whatever means possible. Many of these folks even belong to organizations that are considered threats and/or homegrown terrorist by the FBI. You will find support for this assertion in the comments that follow.
Starting at the begining with the actual inscident, which has caused quite a controversey nationally, here is a link to the initial article I read that informed me of the matter http://www.wishtv.com/dpp/news/local/marion_county/more-than-300-rabbits-seized-from-southside-home (the comments should be of interest as well). Now, I do not know the man personally, nor do I necessarily support his exact setup but neither do I support the seizure of his animals AND his equipment (which the local "rescue" continued to use to house the rabbits while the animals were in their care). All of this took place while the man was away (though he had someone there to care for his rabbits), and after only one complaint AND with only a month given in which to make the requested changes. While I might agree that the man may have been in violation of zoning laws he was NOT charged with animal cruelty or neglect and yet, before ever actually stepping foot in a court of law and despite the fact that (later) a veterinarian of the local rescue's choosing said all of the animals were healthy, the animals AND equipment were confiscated and then sent to other states and "adopted" out (see more info below), many for exorbitant fees rather than allowing for the breeder to disperse his herd (possibly even for profit) though this was only a mere zoning violation. The breeder did indeed relinquish his herd after/during a court proceeding in order that all of the fines against him (which were, more than likely, levied by the rescue, who [in many states] is permitted to charge whatever outrageous amount they like, and would have amounted to multiple tens of thousands of dollars on top of court fees) would be dropped. So my first request is that you investigate the violation of the man's 3rd and 4th amendment rights and the further coercion that took place.
After the above, House Rabbit Societies and Animal Rights Activists and Associations or Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals along with the PetCo Foundation stepped in to transport the rabbits to other states; all the while defaming the specific breeder and other breeders, calling the man in question and others hoarders and worse and claiming (contrary to actual reports) that the animals had been inhumanely treated, housed in filthy conditions and were sickly. The "rescue" side can be seen to be extremely vitriolic, profane, and radical as evidenced by the comments on the PetCo Foundations Facebook Page where extremists curse up a blue streak, use ad hominem attacks and straman platforms to berate and antagonise, while also talking about how eating human children would be the same as eating a beloved pet while also threatening the lives of breeders. You will note that PetCo has done nothing to curtail such vile comments (at the time of this correspondence) though they have been contacted by individuals who expressed great concern. Here is another such comment from a rescue/ARA/HSR/SPCA regarding eating humans, "Heh ~ I mean sweetie WHY don't they eat People (i.e. Soylent Green)??!! I mean let's FACE it ~ there's just TOO many of them now and NOT enough Animals!! All joking aside I suspect it's just not possible to detoxify PEOPLE enough for mass human consumption??!! Such is the pity.. sure would solve a HECK of a LOT of problems out there??!! Nuff' said". This comes from a thread on this page https://www.facebook.com/groups/17988848808/?fref=ts about banning Amazon from selling rabbit meat; also on this thread they discuss the need to "focus our efforts: getting that label changed and/or amended" in regards to the fact that rabbits are considered livestock. And on the same page, a post made by the same person I initially quoted says, "Human population hits 7 billion people... so are we going for a spay and neuter program or a straightforward cull". I find these comments disturbing to say the least.
You can also understand the misinformation being spread by and the ineptness of the "rescuers" as evidenced by posts and comments on "Too Many Bunnies Rabbit Rescue" on Facebook. You will note that earlier posts say they are receiving neutered/spayed rabbits from the Indiana seizure but a subsequent post indicates that the animals were not neutered/spayed and yet they put the rabbits in a colony setting; lumping unneutered/unspayed bucks and does together. You will also see pictures there of rabbits on concrete that has urine stains and feces, which is worse than being in the wire cages of the breeder which elevated them out of the waste that the "rescuers" are allow them to wallow in. You can also see from a video that an open hamster ball is available for the rabbits to play with, note that the opening is about the right size for a rabbit to slip its head into causing the potential for injury. Other points of interest are the comments that state how lovely the rabbits are; after having been seized less than a month prior this can only mean that the rabbits were indeed well cared for by the breeder. Investigations into this "rescue" and others that received the IN rabbits should be made for the above reasons. Also in regards to same, someone should find out how many of these rabbits died after their seizure due to improper: housing (they were put in solid bottom cages and many were housed with unaltered opposite sex rabbits), feeding (the diet that many of these folks feed rabbits is not the healthiest for their sensitive digestive system - rabbits are not to eat iceberg lettuce and carrots), and transportation (several moves, some long trips, in the heat, in small animal carries, in the back of sealed trucks during the summer).
Similar sentiments, vitriol, inconsistencies etc. can be seen on numerous sites, articles, blogs, and social media throughout the web; and incidents like that in Indiana are on the rise with. A faction of people want their stance to be the only stance and are vilifying, harassing, threatening and terrorizing those who are legally engaging in a hobby and/or business and/or way of life that is traditional, historic (and again, legal). The clash comes in part because many of the Resucers/ARA/HRS identify as vegan and they absolutely want their choice to be the only one. Rabbits have been bred in the United states, pretty much since its inception, predomiately for fur, food and exibition; even the USDA instructs people on how to raise rabbits as live stock as evidenced by this information provided by the agencey http://afsic.nal.usda.gov/grazing-systems-and-alternative-livestock-breeds/raising-alternative-livestock-breeds/rabbits. A resource that may be of particular interest to you in assessing the legitimacy of raising as well as proper care, treatment, and housing, of meat rabbits is "Rabbit Production" by James I. McNitt, Professor Emeritus, Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center; Peter R. Cheeke, Professor Emeritus, Oregon State University; Nephi M. Patton, Professor Emeritus, Oregon State University; and Steven D. Lukefahr, Regents Professor, Texas A & M University-Kingsville. Rabbit rescuers/ARA/HRS want to save cute and fuzzy bunnies and are especially appalled by people that consider them livestock though it is legal, promoted (as you have seen above) by our own government as well as by innumerable other countries around the world. While we have a hunger issue on this planet and even in this country, radical rescuers would deny the breeding and use of what has traditionally been a livestock animal, considered food, and promoted as such even by large humanitarian organizations such as Heifer International, as well as by civic and educational groups like 4H and FFA. By insisting that they are merely pets and seeking to deny smaller operations, farms and families in this country the right to raise them as an easily sustainable food source, as a hobby for exhibition or even for fur the ara show their arrogance and ignorance; and yet they are often very happy to harrasses such folks because they know that such individuals cannot possibly afford the cost of fines and litigation.
The public is propagandized through Animal Rights and Rescue organizations whose deep pockets fund heart tugging commercials yet very often provide very little financial support or actual care for any real animals. HSUS runs no shelters and PETA has a 98% kill rate. It is often quoted that rabbits are the 3rd ranking pet animal in the Unted States but even HSUS ranks them with other "small mammals" and all totaled they are NOT #3 but yet they continue to regurgitate the rhetoric to get sympathy from the masses. Pigs are by far one of the smartest animals on the planet but the majority of Americans see, what they have been taught are smelly, dirty animals, as food; while cute and fuzzy bunnies must be liberated from those who would see them as anything except pets and certainly from those who would consume them as a healthy, easily sustainable food source. The extremist start by demanding all domesticated animals be considered pets, then they insist that animals be treated as humans with the ultimate goal that no one may actually have pets at all and that absolutely no animals are to be considered food. Small time rabbit ranchers, breeders and enthusiasts are being vilified , harassed, threatened, extorted, and criminalized under the guise of humane treatment violations all with the help of inept or culpable bureaucrats, municipalities, the police force and the legal system in an attempt, by the ARA, to foist their opinion/way of life onto everyone else. These folks should be able to treat their pets however they like while the rest of us should be permitted to treat our animals in fashion that we choose.
As a caveat, I am aware that there are indeed real incidents of animal neglect and cruelty but allowing for anonymous reporting, when American citizens have the right to face their accuser, providing for the violation of due process, permitting extortion and coercion, ignoring defamation and slander all because of a differing opinion is NOT legal.
I implore you to investigate and report on this travesty in depth and find out the malevolent actions of those involved, the gain they make, their actual ignorance about the care of rabbits, their real agenda and the vilification and criminalization of ranchers, breeders, and enthusiasts. Should you be unable to find posts as I have indicated (many of these sites scrub their comments sections when they are informed that authorities will be notified) I will try to provide screen shots to corroborate my assertions.
The following list may be of interest as well.
Thank you for your time and attention.
Wife, SAHM, Home Educator, USMC Veteran, Suburban Homesteader