TAMPA — Retail rabbit gross sales received’t be hopping out of Hillsborough County anytime quickly.
Hillsborough commissioners agreed Wednesday to start out a public schooling marketing campaign aimed toward curbing seasonal gross sales of pet rabbits close to Easter. However the fee stopped wanting an outright gross sales ban or a moratorium on rabbit retailing that had been sought by animal advocates.
Advocates repeated their pitches Wednesday morning in the course of the fee’s public remark interval.
Associated: Hillsborough ban on rabbit gross sales sought
“These animals could also be cute and lovely, however I can guarantee you that the pet breeding business just isn’t,” Samantha Borr instructed commissioners.
She was one in every of eight individuals who requested the fee to ban retail gross sales of rabbits as a result of the hard-to-care-for animals typically get turned over to rescue shelters or launched into the wild the place they’ll starve or turn out to be prey for different animals.
Authorities-run animal shelters within the Tampa Bay space don’t settle for rabbits. Which means the duty of taking surrenders and fostering the animals falls to nonprofits or volunteers.
Kurtis Marsh, president of the Vacation-based Suncoast Home Rabbit Rescue, stated his group acquired 45 phone calls between Christmas and New 12 months’s Day from folks searching for to give up pet rabbits.
He and others needed the fee so as to add rabbits to the native ordinance that prohibits retail gross sales of dogs and cats. The issue, they stated, stemmed principally from impulse purchases close to Easter that later set off purchaser’s regret.
The issue is actual and has existed for many years, Scott Trebatoski, the county’s pet sources director, later instructed commissioners.
He and the county’s authorized workers instructed the fee start an schooling marketing campaign whereas searching for a voluntary moratorium from retailers to cease the rabbit gross sales.
Commissioner Stacy White, nonetheless, objected to the voluntary moratorium thought. He and the remainder of the fee agreed to start out the schooling marketing campaign — specializing in the sale of rabbits and different animals related to the Easter vacation, comparable to chicks and ducklings — earlier than contemplating additional guidelines.
DeSoto County and town of Key West prohibit retail gross sales of rabbits. Orange County adopted the same ordinance in June and gave retailers a one-year grace interval to conform.
Animal advocate Renee Rivard of Manatee County beforehand stated advocates’ analysis confirmed 18 shops in Hillsborough County bought rabbits.
The county workers, nonetheless, stated no large-scale pet shops promote rabbits and the animals are bought primarily at feed shops.