Letter to Seelan Naidoo RE:Robben Island Rabbits (22 October 2008) PDF Print E-mail


eelan Naidoo 

Robben Island Museum Management 
Private Bag 
Robben Island 
Cape Town 7400

22 October 2008

Dear Mr Naidoo 22 October 2008

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

On behalf of the members of the Christian Action Network we would earnestly request you to reconsider your plan to kill thousands of rabbits on the island.

When the management had sought to justify the culling of feral cats on the island, it was announced that there was concern that the cats could be a threat to the penguins and other sea bird population. 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. It would appear that it is the decimating of feral cat population that has led to the rabbit population explosion.

If the plan is to lure the rabbits into cages and then euthanize them, the question is, if these rabbits are to be captured anyway, why not sterilize and then release them? Or even better relocate them?

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

We would implore the Robben Island Museum management to rather opt for relocation.

It would be devastating to South Africa’s image worldwide, and seriously undermine the tourist industry, if the museum management team was to carry out this planned slaughter of the Robben Island rabbits.

The plans to kill thousands of rabbits on Robben Island is already being reported worldwide. This public relations disaster can only be averted by cancelling the proposed culling, and seeking the assistance of Animal Welfare organisations in the relocation of most of the Robben Island rabbits, and perhaps the sterilizing of some of the others on the island.

The reintroduction of the indigenous feral cats could also go a long way towards re-establishing the balance of nature which human intervention has interfered with.

The Christian Action Network represents 60 member organisations in 11 countries throughout Africa. We publish the Christian Action magazine, maintain the www.christianaction.org.za website, produce the VotersGuide, maintain the www.SAVotersguide.org website, present the Salt and Light radio programme on Radio Tygerberg, and contribute to JOY! magazine.

Should you cancel the culling and give assurances that no rabbits will be killed on the island, we would glad to communicate this throughout our network worldwide and seek to undo much of the damage which has been caused by this public relations disaster of planning to kill thousands of Robben Island rabbits.

We must recognise that the welfare and protection of animals is an essential part of our Creation mandate. All animals belong to God. 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

May God grant you wisdom, courage and strength to do what is right.

Yours for all God’s Creatures

Dr. Peter Hammond


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