I will be attending the World Lagomorpha Society Conference in July. Because of health concerns I will not be able to attend in Montpellier, France where the event will be taking place. I am hoping to be able to ask questions and learn from the worlds foremost experts on rabbits hares and pikas. I am also hoping to address the issue of inbreeding in domestic environments and present my solutions to avoid rabbit extinction both domestic and undomesticated.
I am still conducting research as to whether or not the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservancy requires rehab permit for rabbits. Their website isn’t entirely clear on the subject. Rehab permits are free and interesting fields to enter, but I would like to keep my focus directed on rabbit related issues.
I’ve spent the last 3 days straight researching genetic diversity and reproduction in rabbits to produce viable solutions for their rehabilitation and to prevent extinction. I’ve discovered research that proves inbreeding AND inbred rabbits both have a negative impact on genetic diversity which is irreversible. Linebreeding is inbreeding and has the same results over time. This will likely lead to inbred depression and an extinction vortex event if we do not stop it.
Ive tried to contact the state senators of Florida, the Florida animal law segment of the bar, the humane society of the US, PETA, ARBA, FWC, IUCN, ALDF, ASPCA, SPCA and many others in an attempt to make inbreeding illegal and report it as animal abuse. While I learn a little with each phone call it is a very little amount of information and no one seems to believe me. And the people who do believe me don’t have any authority or can’t help. Everyday that I don’t prevent inbreeding in rabbits the issue becomes exponentially worse. I’m hoping to change policy soon or at least get the ball rolling.
I figured out why ARBA wants weights on the pedigrees. They are using it to compile stochastic data on rabbits. They think that the pedigree is a sign of genetic superiority, which it isn’t , and they believe that selective breeding will create better rabbits. So they continue to preach “Linebreeding” and culling. My research indicates that not only is this wrong it’s having the opposite effect. It is systematically reducing genetic diversity and is the number one cause for the endangerment of domestic rabbit populations.
I have proof of my stances in scientific journals. See for yourself: Levins Law, Hardy Weinberg Law, inbreeding depression, genetic bottlenecking , the Maran model, decreased fitness levels and increases in homozygosity all prove my point. I’m fighting my hardest to bring attention to these issues and many more facing not only rabbits but all domesticated animals. I need more help if I am to continue fighting. Limited financial support and some influence would go a long way to helping me preserve domestic rabbits. Right now nearly half of ARBAs rabbits are considered “heritage“ species. It’s a cute name for endangered livestock. I will be collecting as many species as I can to try and prevent this. Spread the word, donate to our cause or reach out to someone you know that can help. I’m doing this for rabbits everywhere and I know I’m not alone in that sentiment. Thank you for all the support you’ve given me this far. It’s what keeps me going.