Year of the Rabbit Not So Lucky for Rabbits

02/01/2011

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This Thursday, China and other Asian nations will ring in the Lunar New Year and the Year of the Rabbit. This means good luck for those born under the Chinese zodiac sign, but it may not be so lucky for rabbits. The cute creatures are being loved to death in Asia and some species are in danger of dying away altogether.

Read the AP story at Google News.

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All the excitement has led to a rush to purchase rabbits from pet stores and farms because of the belief that the animals will bring good luck and love. But conservationists and animal rights organizations are warning that the animals will be abandoned when owners realize the cost and amount of care involved.

"People think they are small and cute, (but) they are a lot of work. They just can't be stuffed into a cage," says Ashley Fruno, Asia representative for the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA.

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A report from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) says that several Asian species of rabbit and others are victims of overhunting, habitat loss and viral diseases. Declines of the Sumatran striped rabbit, hispid hare, Amari rabbit and the Annamite striped rabbit have been rapid and dramatic.

Photo Credits: Qin Gang/XinHua/Xinhua Press/Corbis | Zhang Qingyun/XinHua/Xinhua Press/Corbis | KuS/plainpicture/Corbis |


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