I am posting a link with an in depth look at breeding programs for animals. It might be difficult to grasp, but it is crucial to any good animal husbandry program. It also holds the key to saving rabbits as a species. Current breeding programs for rabbits usually involves a “breeding trio” and an ”inbreeding and culling” program. If this is allowed to continue domestic rabbits will be extinct in less than 50 years. Several species are endangered including the Belgian Hare, the Beveren and the Chinchilla. The article will explain genetic convergence and genetic bottlenecking in which the loss of alleles represents a PERMANENT loss in genetic diversity. Inbreeding in captivity is a choice and continued inbreeding will have the same result. We will permanently lose genetic diversity and rabbits will die out. Culling as a policy is also reprehensible. There are plenty of valid outlets for rabbits that don’t meet whatever arbitrary standards people have set forth. They are the 3rd most popular pet on the globe and a good source of manure, fur, meat and companionship. There is no excuse for the sense less murder of millions of rabbits annually. Please spread the word, I fear we do not have much time.
Photo courtesy of Adrian’s Rabbitry. In the photo: a litter of NZWxNZR cross, the litter is diverse in color as well as genetically diverse and still a purebred New Zealand. Competitive showing isn’t inherently wrong, but the standards promote inbreeding and valuing of superficial traits of quality of genetic traits.