British Columbia

Rabbit cull planned by University of Victoria

The University of Victoria says it plans to start culling feral rabbits from an estimated population of 1,500 that have been digging burrows throughout the campus.

The University of Victoria says it plans to start culling feral rabbits from an estimated population of 1,500 that have been digging burrows throughout the campus.

The university has yet to say how many rabbits it intends to kill, but previous attempts to trap and sterilize the animals proved too costly. The new plan involves trapping and euthanizing them.

Part of the plan also involves creating a rabbit-free zone around the campus, while allowing a controlled population to remain in the centre of the university.

Carmina Gooch, the president of Rabbit Advocacy Group of B.C., calls the cull archaic and questions why the university has scheduled it when most students have left for summer break.

"They know they have strong opposition to it. People are mad," said Gooch.

But for many people, the move to control the population can't come soon enough.

Without any natural predators to keep the population in check, the furry creatures have been blamed for destroying gardens, killing trees, digging up sports fields, leaving hazardous holes, and leaving their droppings all around the campus.

Matthew Taylor, of the Mount Tolmie Community Association, said the rabbits have moved off campus, and are now eating their way into neighbouring gardens.

"As an association we are pretty much in favour. I have nothing against rabbits, but there are just too many, you know," he told CBC News.

now