Saanich’s rabbit bylaws are now in effect.
While council adopted bylaws amendments in May for deer, dogs and chickens, the municipality delayed changing its rabbit bylaw to accommodate the needs of rabbit breeders.
Bylaws now prohibit the feeding of rabbits in parks or public spaces, prohibit the abandonment of rabbits and prohibit the sale or adoption of fertile rabbits. A rabbit breeding permit is now required before fertile rabbits can be purchased.
“The regulations will ensure that those who raise rabbits for show, as a hobby, or for food can acquire unspayed and unneutered rabbits,” wrote Carrie MacPhee, director of legislative service.
The bylaws were implemented in response to a burgeoning rabbit population at the University of Victoria where hundreds of rabbits have been abandoned in the last decade. The problem encroached into nearby neighbourhoods.
UVic is now deemed “rabbit free” but council wanted to take steps to ensure the problem doesn’t happen elsewhere in the municipality.
Council unanimously approved the bylaw amendments Tuesday night.