From Iceland — Rabbits Reaching Too Far

Rabbits Reaching Too Far

Published December 20, 2013

The City of Reykjavík is being pressured by municipalities in the Capital Area to take action against rabbits trespassing by crossing the city borders.

Rabbits were the subject of a meeting in the City Environment and Planning Committee on Wednesday.

The Committee was presented with the conclusion of a meeting held at the SSH (Association of municipalities in the Capital area) where the increase of rabbits in the capital area was discussed.

“Representatives of the environmental regions in these municipalities held a meeting end of November to assess the situation. Mainly to try and map out where rabbits have spread the most and whether the numbers are increasing,” Snorri Sigurðsson, project manager at the City Nature and Parks Office, told Morgunblaðið.

Rabbits are protected by Icelandic law but it is possible to be granted a waiver if needed.

“The City got an exemption this summer, valid for two years, to catch rabbits. But it’s a resource only used when there have been complaints. We have not taken to catching them in order to cut down the number of rabbits,” Snorri added.

A very small number of rabbits were killed this summer because of residents’ complaints.

Wild rabbits originate from pet rabbits that were set free. New animal welfare law which will be implemented at the beginning of next year, will make it illegal to release pets into the wild.

“We are monitoring the situation,” Páll Hjalti Hjaltason, head of the city environment and planning committee told Morgunblaðið.

“The rabbits have reached the agenda of SSH because obviously, they pay no regard to the bounds between the municipalities.”
Páll said that Reykjavík city still hasn’t made any decisions on whether action is needed.

See also: Rabbits Disrupt Traffic

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