I AM deeply saddened to hear of the proposed slaughter of the Hinchingbrooke Park rabbits (The Hunts Post, March 25). As someone who has been fortunate enough to have life long close links with the countryside, I have witnessed humankind s relationship wi
I AM deeply saddened to hear of the proposed slaughter of the Hinchingbrooke Park rabbits (The Hunts Post, March 25).
As someone who has been fortunate enough to have life long close links with the countryside,
I have witnessed humankind's relationship with rabbits for many years, from shot rabbits given to my family as food to seemingly endless road kills, to the pitiful sight of rabbits dying of man-made myxomatosis.
Most of the country people that I know, however, simply fence their way around the rabbits-in-the-garden issue, with a grumble or two. My dad is currently helping a farmer fence certain areas of a field of oilseed rape.
Despite many sad rabbit sights, my heart still lifts to see them alive and well. Over a period of five years I received a great deal of treatment at Hinchingbrooke Hospital. One of the few pleasures of this time was walking in the grounds of the hospital and beautiful Hinchingbrooke Park. There in the spring I saw tiny young rabbits, quite unafraid of humans, in their new-born innocence. They really lifted my spirits during a very dark time.
I have also had the pleasure of working as a volunteer at Hinchingbrooke Park and found this to be a wonderfully life-affirming experience. The rangers there do a brilliant job, retaining and enhancing a rich oasis of diverse habitats. They are extremely adept in all aspects of countryside management, but I wonder how they feel deep down about having to kill their daily companions, the Hinchingbrooke rabbits.
I know that, sadly, I for one will find it very hard to visit the park if this action is taken. Additionally, in these greener times of trying to care for our planet, I wonder how we will explain such an act to children and young people? Does this proposed mass extermination send out a positive message about how to care for the Earth and its living creatures?
This story seems to have gone far and wide. I wish all well with the resolution of this issue. With so few wild corners left, I wonder if people can just go that extra mile to show compassion for a wild animal that gives so much joy to so many, and actually has every right to be on this planet.