Fur Flies

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Whether for meat or for fur (“Bunny Tale,” April 3), utilizing the byproduct normalizes the fur culture. The message of this bill is for the state to denounce support of this unethical industry and prevent reason for fur sales. Excluding rabbit fur from the bill would not be congruent with the values of the majority of California’s constituents. This statewide majority far outweighs the values of the one small Northern California district represented by Assemblyman Levine. Levin’s spokesperson states: “Assemblymember Levine supports maintaining the highest ethical standards for the production of legal animal products in California.” If it is agreed by the majority that the fur industry is unethical then Mr. Levin must acknowledge all animals regardless of how the byproducts are used.

Lisa Rockwell, via Bohemian.com

Rabbits are the most abused animals on the planet. Exploited not only for their flesh and fur, they are victimized in research, used as bait and live food for other animals, and even as “pets,” they are often neglected and abandoned resulting in them being the third most euthanized animal in American Shelters. Exempting them from the meager protection of not being skinned alive in order to take their fur is a slap in the face to those of us who value them as the clean quiet engaging and affectionate companions they are.

I wish everyone reading this would call member Levine’s office and ask him to represent his entire district, not just a single constituent and withdraw this ill fated request.

Genevieve Campos, via Bohemian.com

Will Carruthers, thank you for taking the the time to interview me for this article. Much of what I said is not included in the article. It’s important that we provide accurate information about rabbits in general, and rabbit fur in specifics.

First, I would like to clarify that SaveABunny is not an animal rights group. We are a 501c3 nonprofit rescue and advocacy group that provides an invaluable, community service. While some individuals who volunteer for this group may be involved with animal rights groups, the majority of our supporters are families who have adopted rabbits as treasured members of their family.

We work with over 30 animal shelters and have rescued 5,000 rabbits since 1999. We provide an invaluable, life-giving and positive service to California and receive no government funding. We are a grass-roots, primarily volunteer-based group. Unlike Mark Pasternack, we do not have a paid lobbyist or tax paid politician working on our behalf.

The photo of rabbits in this article are living in painful, cruel conditions while they wait to die. They are the exact same breed and species you can adopt from your local shelter or a rescue group as a pet. Any rabbit can be called a meat rabbit for convenience. The rabbits in the photo are also babies and juveniles. What you see is the equivalent of immobilizing veal crates for rabbits.

Rabbits are as intelligent as cats and dogs. Their basic needs to be able to move freely and exercise is not given. Additionally, they are living on hard wire cages which routinely cut into their feet leaving deep, stabbing wounds that go untreated.

Pasternak himself exhibits how there will be increased rabbit farming when he says he sold a trio of breeder rabbits to someone. What is the business arrangement for this and who does it benefit?

If California truly wants to be a fur free state rabbits should be included and protected in the ban. Otherwise, it is hypocritical and serves a very small group of people who will make a lot of money.

We would appreciate the opportunity for you to do a follow up on rabbits as companions in the state of California. In the U.S., rabbits are the 4th most popular pet with over 3 million homes living with companion rabbits. Even Vice President Mike Pence lives with a pet rabbit, so rabbits as pets is hardly a fringe idea and lifestyle.

Thank you again for your time and consideration of the points I have raised.

Marcy Berman (not Schaaf), Founder and Executive Director, SaveABunny

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