Letter to Dept. Nature Conservation RE:Robben Island Rabbits (21 October 2008) PDF Print E-mail


The Department of Nature Conservation 
C/o Mrs L. Madlala 
Department Secretary 
P.O. Box 15 
Cape Town 

21 October 2008

To: The Ministries of Tourism and Culture 22 October 2008

Dear Sirs

Greetings in the precious Name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

On behalf of the 60 member organisations of the Christian Action Network, it is my duty to request your urgent intervention to prevent the Robben Island Museum management carrying out their plans to kill thousands of rabbits on the island.

When, previously, the management had sought to justify the culling of feral cats on the island, they had announced their concern that the cats could be a threat to the penguins and other sea birds. Now, it would appear that the rabbits were the primary source of food for the feral cats, and not the sea birds. The rabbits were first introduced onto Robben Island in 1656.

If the rabbits on Robben Island are to be lured into cages with food and euthanased, then why can these rabbits not be sterilized and then released? Or even better, relocated?

Numerous Animal Welfare organisations, farm, guest lodge and animal sanctuary owners have come forward to offer to accommodate the Robben Island rabbits.

We, in Cape Town, have already been greatly distressed by the killing of mountain goats on Table Mountain, the deforesting of huge sections of the Peninsula, and now, in the wake of killing the cats on Robben Island, there are plans to kill up to 10,000 rabbits!

We are answerable to God for our treatment of His animals. “A good man takes care of his animals, but wicked men are cruel to theirs.” Proverbs 12:10

All animals belong to God (Psalm 24:1). “All the animals in the forest are Mine and the cattle on thousands of hills. All the wild birds are mine and all living things in the fields.”Psalm 50:10-11

On behalf of the Christian Action Network we implore you to please intervene and do all that you can to secure the well being of these animals, who with ourselves, inhabit God’s earth and so fulfil the creative joy and purpose of the Creator.

We should treat animals with the love and concern of those who must give an account of our conduct to Almighty God on the Day of Judgement.

With elections soon approaching, it would be wise for your department to be seen to decisively act to prevent this senseless slaughter which will also greatly harm South Africa’s image worldwide, and harm our tourist industry as well.

As the Contributing Editor to JOY! magazine, Co-Presenter of the Salt and Light programme on Radio Tygerberg, Editor of the Christian Action magazine, I intend to fully alert our members, readers and listeners to this threat and would be most grateful for your prompt and decisive action on behalf of the millions of citizens of this country who are opposed to this proposed action of the Robben Island Museum management.

May God grant you courage, discernment and strength.

Yours for all God’s Creatures

Dr Peter Hammond


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