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FWSW12OFF2758 Responses

April 22, 2012 in Admin

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 3:56 PM

Hi Sabrina,

Can you please forward me the following document:

Last year’s investigation did not reference any rehab studies, guides or rehab organizations.
a.
  Can you please send me a link or document to the rehab studies you are referencing that promote the feeding of specifically live domestic rabbits to wildlife predators in rehab? 
The document will be sent to you by separate mail.

Regards, Linda

Thursday, August 9, 2012 6:19 AM
To: “SabrinaMenendez”

FWC,

Thank you for providing the AWRC Wild Bird Guidelines, it supports my stand.

“Feeding – live food can be problematic, so we only feed dead prey items.  These consist of part or whole
carcasses of rabbits, chicks, quails, mice, rats etc. Food may need to be alternated till a preferred food
source is found.  Most raptors will refuse to eat  initially, but start eating by day three – seven.  If
extensive weight loss is seen (10% of bodyweight) crop feeding should be considered, but most raptors
are likely to regurgitate in inexperienced hands.  Food can consist of egg yolks and /or Hill’s a/d diet.
This is best avoided, if possible, due to the stress caused to the animal in repeated handling, the
expertise required and the risk of aspiration.”
Regards,
Linda

— On Tue, 8/7/12, Menendez, Sabrina <sabrina.menendez@MyFWC.com> wrote:

From: Menendez, Sabrina
Subject: RE: BCR Complaint Updates Please
Date: Tuesday, August 7, 2012, 2:26 PM

Good afternoon Linda,

Please see updates in the highlighted areas below.  (The areas are in green bold, as I cannot highlight yellow here)

Have a great evening!
Sabrina

Subject: RE: BCR Complaint Updates Please
To: “SabrinaMenendez”
Date: Thursday, June 7, 2012, 10:04 PM

Hello Sabrina,

Thank you for the updates, however I  have a few more questions.  Please see them in red. 

Regards, Linda

Can you please provide updates regarding the two following complaints on Big Cat Rescue Tampa?

FWC Jason Marlow was previously in charge of the BCR complaints but has not responded to many emails sent to him requesting updates over the last few months.
Emails have also been sent to the FWC website attn:(Nick Wiley) as well as emails to the Inspector Generals office of FWC, all with no responses.   I am not understanding why the emails and questions are being ignored.

1.  Complaint filed on 2/26/2012, wildlife undergoing rehab or medical treatment shall not be exhibited, but were displayed on BCR Hospital Live Stream online.  A case number was not given and no updates have been provided.  Please advise.

The case number is as follows and has been administratively closed per the Region: FWSW12OFF2758.  The findings of the complaint was that the bobcats from North Carolina were brought in under the ESB (Exhibition and Sale License) and were never under the Rehab Permit, therefore the Rehab related rules did not apply and the animals could be exhibited.  This is to include their care.  I have spoken to BCR and most of the current live feeds are suppose to be password protected in order to allow only BCR staff viewing capabilities to monitor the status and progress of the cats under any medical care.

1. According to Carole Baskin’s post (below) on the Facebook BCR page, the live stream was shut down by FWC, which does not agree with what you stated above.  Please advise.

Carole Baskin

March 28
Just so all of the SkipAHolics know that Rufus is sleeping peacefully right now. I just took this pic. He has spent most of the day sleeping and I know that you guys are anxious to keep an eye on him for us, so we are working on that. The bad guys filed another false complaint about Rufus, under an alias, of course, so we have to get permission from the FWC or legal counsel to allow access via the web cam.

April 1 at 7:38pm

There is a confusion on what bobcats you have mentioned.  “Rufus” is a different bobcat that came in under an exhibition and sale license.  The 3 bobcats that were originally taken in under the rehabilitation permit and exhibited are deceased. It is noted that a warning was issued for that incident.  So, the original statement is accurate and does fall in line with the above statement.  It was provided that the feeds were for personnel use only at this time.  Ms. Baskin (according to the language provided above) stated the feed could not be viewed publically without permission from FWC. 

2. Can you please forward a copy of the ESB Sales License for Rufus the bobcat and a copy of the permits to display physical impairments on the two blind bobcats Rufus who is deceased and Tommie? 

Copies of license are not maintained.  We can provide you with a copy of her renewal application and a copy of the database information page that shows the current license.

3. Please clarify this FWC Regulation?  Wildlife undergoing rehabilitation or medical treatment shall not be exhibited. Permittees may keep wildlife with permanent physical impairments for educational display under permit in accordance with Section 379.3761, F.S., and Chapter 68A-6, F.A.C. 

The blind bobcat Rufus from out of state you speak of was undergoing medical treatment.  The regulation reads:  wildlife undergoing rehab OR medical treatment.http://bigcatrescue.org/2012/advocat-2012-03

The regulation refers to native wildlife brought in under a rehabilitation permit, not wildlife brought in under the ESB (Exhibition and Sale License).  While it is true Rufus required medical attention, he was not being rehabbed for potential release under a rehab permit.  Therefore, this rule does not apply to him or any wildlife not native to Florida.

4.  According to the BCR website a second blind bobcat named Tommie was found in Florida and also on the Live Stream website; can you please advise why  this bobcat was excluded from the complaint investigation? 

“Just a few weeks after the arrival of Rufus, Rescuers received a call from a mine located an hour north of the sanctuary”.
http://bigcatrescue.org/2012/advocat-2012-03

Tommie was not mentioned in your original complaint and therefore was not addressed.  We could not find evidence of a live feed involving Tommie that is still active.  We will notify BCR to remove photos of Tommie and old videos (feeds) from the web.  BCR was notified previously to stop the live feeds and to not place any new videos (feeds) on-line publically, specifically native wildlife being rehabbed.  They have complied.

5.  Regarding your statement:   “I have spoken to BCR and most of the current live feeds are suppose to be password protected in order to allow only BCR staff viewing capabilities to monitor the status and progress of the cats under any medical care”.
To my knowledge there are no bobcats currently in rehab at BCR, can you please advise as to what animals are currently being fed Live animals? 

The above statement was in reference to the live video feeds not feeding of live animals.  We do not keep track of what wildlife is being fed live animals as part of their diet.

2.  Previous complaint Case no. FWSW11OFF9131, filed 12/2/2011, videos of wildlife being fed live animals in rehab are still online Today and available over the internet – after Jamie Veronica Murdock was issued a warning on March 17, 2011 for a violation of FAC 68A-9.006.   Please advise.

Lt. Delacure has advised that the videos of the three particular bobcats that were under Rehab status and are in question have been removed from any website that is under the control of BCR.  Videos that make it onto the internet sometimes are not retrievable by the parties and therefore remains accessible by searches on the web.  We are not aware of current violations regarding the 3 bobcats that the warning was issued for at this time. 

Can you please advise where Lt. Delacure obtained the information stated?  The following websites / blogs sent to FWC are Factually and Clearly Under Control, updated and written by BCR and on this date of 6/7/2012 the videos remain Live on the internet.  These same links were provided in the Original Complaint FWSW11OFF9131 however FWC has not addressed these concerns, therefore I am not understanding the response that FWC is not aware of these continued violations, please advise.

BCR’S Meta Cafe Account:  Bobcats torturing and killing 2 Live Domestic Rabbits  http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5911162/bobcat_kittens_2011_rehab_update/

BCR’S YouTube Account: Bobcats torturing and killing Live Rats
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pb2dwl7z2PA

BCR’S Vimeo Account:  Warning this video shows scenes of live animal predation  http://vimeo.com/14805317

BCR’S DailyMotion Account: Warning this video shows scenes of live animal predation  http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xeqtoe_bobcat-kittens-the-outside-world_animals

 Carole Baskin also has videos under another Youtube Account that is called the: Secret law of Attraction. 

Here you will see live rats being tortured and killed by the bobcats in rehab. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-Fo2BYd1NI&feature=plcp

BCR Myspace account:
Bobcat Predation Photos: http://www.myspace.com/1bigcatrescue/photos/albums/album/2782648

BCR Photos of Bobcats during rehab: http://www.myspace.com/1bigcatrescue/photos/albums/album/2759997

Rehabbing bobcats receiving Medical Treatment:  Big Cat Hosptial “Live Stream” http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/11824729

BigCatHospital on Ustream

You can check the progress of SKIP the bobcat LIVE using our hospital cam:
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/bigcathospital

BigCatHospital @ USTREAM: This is the recovery cage inside the West Boensch Cat Hospital at Big Cat Rescue. This site has been set up to enable our AdvoCa…

Watch Skip the bobcat eat
http://bigcatnews.blogspot.com/2011/01/watch-skip-bobcat-eat.html

Watch Skip the bobcat eat within the next 15 minutes here.
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/bigcathospital

None of these feeds are current.  They are password protected or old feeds.

Captain Jason Marlow was in charge of the BCR complaints and stopped responding to questions regarding these complaints. I would appreciate a response from FWC regarding the unanswered questions below.

3/4/2012

Captain Marlow,

Can you please advise on the following responses you are sending out to the public that are filing complaints on BCR?  

“Relative to the complaint of rabbits (prey) being feed to cats (predators) in rehab status was deemed an acceptable and necessary process for rehabbing wild predators in order to create the necessary instincts.

It is also supported by many rehab studies, guides and rehab organizations. I have attached the investigations response into last year’s allegations to assist you in any questions that you may have”.

Last year’s investigation did not reference any rehab studies, guides or rehab organizations.

a.  Can you please send me a link or document to the rehab studies you are referencing that promote the feeding of specifically live domestic rabbits to wildlife predators in rehab?  The document will be sent to you by separate mail.

b.  Can you please send me a link or name of the rehab organizations you are referencing along with the guidelines that specifically promote the feeding live domestic rabbits to wild predators in rehab?  See answer above.  It is also noted that you provided the link that was utilized and referenced in the below response that was sent on 07/08/2011.

Attaching Factual & Professional References below:

1.  The Executive Director of the National Bobcat Rescue and Research Foundation does not promote live feeding to bobcats in rehab:

“We do not use live prey here.  Their natural instincts take care of that.  We do, however, place small bowls of dog food and mouse food so that the wild rodents will enter the cages on their own and have a natural fighting chance. We ONLY work with Bobcats and other native species”.

Statement proves they promote the activity without actually supplying of animal (see highlighted area).

2.  The Clinical Director of the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife, Inc. in Florida does not promote live feeding to bobcats in rehab:

” We don’t use any live prey for feeding bobcats. I feel very strongly that the vast majority of our patients are very instinctual, and don’t need the live prey stimulus to tap into their wildness or train them to be hunters”.   I don’t feel that the white mouse or domestic rabbit as prey is a true test of hunting ability, as those aren’t the same prey that these predators will find out in the wild – and the act is far from fair to the mouse or rabbit.  I feel the same way about these as the bobcats…I feel that they have the instincts to be hunters and don’t need us to teach them”.

3.  According to Sandy Woltman, President of National Wildlife Rehabilitator’s Association:   
NWRA neither condones nor condemns the feeding of live domestic rabbits to bobcats undergoing rehabilitation for release into the wild”.

Below is a response that was sent to you on 07/08/2011:

If you have no such guidelines please explain why these people are not charged with animal cruelty under the florida animal cruelty statutes that I have previously sent FWC,  domestic rabbits are clearly not a part of a wild animals diet or available in the wild (First, I am not an attorney and this question should be asked to each State Attorney’s Office in each judicial circuit as they all would have to provide their opinion.  Secondly, the feeding of live domestic rabbits systematically is no different than feeding live domestic rodents to predators.  The fact is that rabbits are part of a bobcats diet and we have to consider what is reasonably available to rehabbers in order to “as close as possible” mimic their natural prey to prepare the wild animal for release.  I will refer to the industry standard you provided “As the bobcat grows, provide it with larger mice, rats, or other prey it may encounter in its natural habitat.”  I may mention that the rats that the industry uses are non-wild domestic rats.  I will also add information from the document you provided “To trigger the growing bobcat’s hunting instinct, introduce live prey regularly.  Never feed a bobcat pet food.  Several weeks before release, the bobcat must be put on a live-kill diet.  The bobcat must be able to sustain its weight strictly on live kill.”  I have spoken with both our Legal Staff and a prosecutor from the State Attorney’s Office that specifically deals with high profile animal cruelty cases and it is of their opinion that this in no way meets the criteria of the Animal Cruelty statutes.

Here are some additional links:

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/25223514/PROCEDURES-for-BOBCAT-REHABILITATION

http://www.awrc.org.au/uploads/5/8/6/6/5866843/awrc_phillipa_mason.pdf

We observe that most organizations understand the importance of feeding prey to predators, yet do not specifically condone or condemn the use of rabbits.  FWC again understands your concerns over the feeding of “live” domesticated rabbits to predators in captivity.  Although, we feel that feeding “live prey” items to predators in rehabilitation is acceptable and needed to develop those instincts necessary for survival in the wild.  FWC considers rabbits, rats and mice to all be necessary prey items for rehabilitation of predators.

It is also noted that in the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association’s “Principles of Wildlife Rehabilitation” in chapter 8 “Mammals” states the following:

“Live food and fresh-killed carcasses (e.g., deer) are supplemental foods for carnivores such as bobcats and coyotes.  These species and other predators will not be interested in catching and killing a live rodent or rabbit if their hunger has been satiated before the prey has been put into the cage.  Only wildlife rehabilitators who can reconcile using live food should attempt to rehabilitate predators that require it, since it is crucial to the rehabilitation of the species.”

 

 

FWC,

Thank you for providing the AWRC Wild Bird Guidelines, it supports my stand.

“Feeding – live food can be problematic, so we only feed dead prey items.  These consist of part or whole
carcasses of rabbits, chicks, quails, mice, rats etc. Food may need to be alternated till a preferred food
source is found.  Most raptors will refuse to eat  initially, but start eating by day three – seven.  If
extensive weight loss is seen (10% of bodyweight) crop feeding should be considered, but most raptors
are likely to regurgitate in inexperienced hands.  Food can consist of egg yolks and /or Hill’s a/d diet.
This is best avoided, if possible, due to the stress caused to the animal in repeated handling, the
expertise required and the risk of aspiration.”
Regards,
Linda

— On Tue, 8/7/12, Menendez, Sabrina <sabrina.menendez@MyFWC.com> wrote:

From: Menendez, Sabrina <sabrina.menendez@MyFWC.com>
Subject: RE: BCR Complaint Updates Please
To: “‘bunnyflo'” <bunnyflo@yahoo.com>
Date: Tuesday, August 7, 2012, 2:26 PM

Good afternoon Linda,

 

Please see updates in the highlighted areas below.

 

Have a great evening!

Sabrina

 

From: bunnyflo <bunnyflo@yahoo.com>
Subject: RE: BCR Complaint Updates Please
To: “SabrinaMenendez” <sabrina.menendez@MyFWC.com>
Date: Thursday, June 7, 2012, 10:04 PM

Hello Sabrina,

Thank you for the updates, however I  have a few more questions.  Please see them in red.

Regards, Linda

 

 

Can you please provide updates regarding the two following complaints on Big Cat Rescue Tampa?

FWC Jason Marlow was previously in charge of the BCR complaints but has not responded to many emails sent to him requesting updates over the last few months.
Emails have also been sent to the FWC website attn:(Nick Wiley) as well as emails to the Inspector Generals office of FWC, all with no responses.   I am not understanding why the emails and questions are being ignored.

1.  Complaint filed on 2/26/2012, wildlife undergoing rehab or medical treatment shall not be exhibited, but were displayed on BCR Hospital Live Stream online.  A case number was not given and no updates have been provided.  Please advise.

The case number is as follows and has been administratively closed per the Region: FWSW12OFF2758.  The findings of the complaint was that the bobcats from North Carolina were brought in under the ESB (Exhibition and Sale License) and were never under the Rehab Permit, therefore the Rehab related rules did not apply and the animals could be exhibited.  This is to include their care.  I have spoken to BCR and most of the current live feeds are suppose to be password protected in order to allow only BCR staff viewing capabilities to monitor the status and progress of the cats under any medical care.
1. According to Carole Baskin’s post (below) on the Facebook BCR page, the live stream was shut down by FWC, which does not agree with what you stated above.  Please advise.

Carole Baskin

March 28
Just so all of the SkipAHolics know that Rufus is sleeping peacefully right now. I just took this pic. He has spent most of the day sleeping and I know that you guys are anxious to keep an eye on him for us, so we are working on that. The bad guys filed another false complaint about Rufus, under an alias, of course, so we have to get permission from the FWC or legal counsel to allow access via the web cam.

April 1 at 7:38pm

There is a confusion on what bobcats you have mentioned.  “Rufus” is a different bobcat that came in under an exhibition and sale license.  The 3 bobcats that were originally taken in under the rehabilitation permit and exhibited are deceased. It is noted that a warning was issued for that incident.  So, the original statement is accurate and does fall in line with the above statement.  It was provided that the feeds were for personnel use only at this time.  Ms. Baskin (according to the language provided above) stated the feed could not be viewed publically without permission from FWC. 

2. Can you please forward a copy of the ESB Sales License for Rufus the bobcat and a copy of the permits to display physical impairments on the two blind bobcats Rufus who is deceased and Tommie?

Copies of license are not maintained.  We can provide you with a copy of her renewal application and a copy of the database information page that shows the current license.

3. Please clarify this FWC Regulation?  Wildlife undergoing rehabilitation or medical treatment shall not be exhibited. Permittees may keep wildlife with permanent physical impairments for educational display under permit in accordance with Section 379.3761, F.S., and Chapter 68A-6, F.A.C. 

The blind bobcat Rufus from out of state you speak of was undergoing medical treatment.  The regulation reads:  wildlife undergoing rehab OR medical treatment.

http://bigcatrescue.org/2012/advocat-2012-03

The regulation refers to native wildlife brought in under a rehabilitation permit, not wildlife brought in under the ESB (Exhibition and Sale License).  While it is true Rufus required medical attention, he was not being rehabbed for potential release under a rehab permit.  Therefore, this rule does not apply to him or any wildlife not native to Florida.

4.  According to the BCR website a second blind bobcat named Tommie was found in Florida and also on the Live Stream website; can you please advise why  this bobcat was excluded from the complaint investigation?

“Just a few weeks after the arrival of Rufus, Rescuers received a call from a mine located an hour north of the sanctuary”.

http://bigcatrescue.org/2012/advocat-2012-03

Tommie was not mentioned in your original complaint and therefore was not addressed.  We could not find evidence of a live feed involving Tommie that is still active.  We will notify BCR to remove photos of Tommie and old videos (feeds) from the web.  BCR was notified previously to stop the live feeds and to not place any new videos (feeds) on-line publically, specifically native wildlife being rehabbed.  They have complied.

5.  Regarding your statement:   “I have spoken to BCR and most of the current live feeds are suppose to be password protected in order to allow only BCR staff viewing capabilities to monitor the status and progress of the cats under any medical care”.

To my knowledge there are no bobcats currently in rehab at BCR, can you please advise as to what animals are currently being fed Live animals?

The above statement was in reference to the live video feeds not feeding of live animals.  We do not keep track of what wildlife is being fed live animals as part of their diet.
2.  Previous complaint Case no. FWSW11OFF9131, filed 12/2/2011, videos of wildlife being fed live animals in rehab are still online Today and available over the internet – after Jamie Veronica Murdock was issued a warning on March 17, 2011 for a violation of FAC 68A-9.006.   Please advise.

Lt. Delacure has advised that the videos of the three particular bobcats that were under Rehab status and are in question have been removed from any website that is under the control of BCR.  Videos that make it onto the internet sometimes are not retrievable by the parties and therefore remains accessible by searches on the web.  We are not aware of current violations regarding the 3 bobcats that the warning was issued for at this time. 

Can you please advise where Lt. Delacure obtained the information stated?  The following websites / blogs sent to FWC are Factually and Clearly Under Control, updated and written by BCR and on this date of 6/7/2012 the videos remain Live on the internet.  These same links were provided in the Original Complaint FWSW11OFF9131 however FWC has not addressed these concerns, therefore I am not understanding the response that FWC is not aware of these continued violations, please advise.

BCR’S Meta Cafe Account:  Bobcats torturing and killing 2 Live Domestic Rabbits  http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5911162/bobcat_kittens_2011_rehab_update/

BCR’S YouTube Account: Bobcats torturing and killing Live Rats
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pb2dwl7z2PA

BCR’S Vimeo Account:  Warning this video shows scenes of live animal predation  http://vimeo.com/14805317

BCR’S DailyMotion Account: Warning this video shows scenes of live animal predation  http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xeqtoe_bobcat-kittens-the-outside-world_animals
Carole Baskin also has videos under another Youtube Account that is called the: Secret law of Attraction.

Here you will see live rats being tortured and killed by the bobcats in rehab. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-Fo2BYd1NI&feature=plcp

BCR Myspace account:
Bobcat Predation Photos: http://www.myspace.com/1bigcatrescue/photos/albums/album/2782648

BCR Photos of Bobcats during rehab: http://www.myspace.com/1bigcatrescue/photos/albums/album/2759997

Rehabbing bobcats receiving Medical Treatment:  Big Cat Hosptial “Live Stream” http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/11824729

BigCatHospital on Ustream
You can check the progress of SKIP the bobcat LIVE using our hospital cam:
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/bigcathospital

BigCatHospital @ USTREAM: This is the recovery cage inside the West Boensch Cat Hospital at Big Cat Rescue. This site has been set up to enable our AdvoCa…

Watch Skip the bobcat eat

http://bigcatnews.blogspot.com/2011/01/watch-skip-bobcat-eat.html

Watch Skip the bobcat eat within the next 15 minutes here.
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/bigcathospital

None of these feeds are current.  They are password protected or old feeds.
Captain Jason Marlow was in charge of the BCR complaints and stopped responding to questions regarding these complaints. I would appreciate a response from FWC regarding the unanswered questions below.
3/4/2012

Captain Marlow,

Can you please advise on the following responses you are sending out to the public that are filing complaints on BCR?
“Relative to the complaint of rabbits (prey) being feed to cats (predators) in rehab status was deemed an acceptable and necessary process for rehabbing wild predators in order to create the necessary instincts.

It is also supported by many rehab studies, guides and rehab organizations. I have attached the investigations response into last year’s allegations to assist you in any questions that you may have”.

Last year’s investigation did not reference any rehab studies, guides or rehab organizations.

a.  Can you please send me a link or document to the rehab studies you are referencing that promote the feeding of specifically live domestic rabbits to wildlife predators in rehab?  The document will be sent to you by separate mail.

b.  Can you please send me a link or name of the rehab organizations you are referencing along with the guidelines that specifically promote the feeding live domestic rabbits to wild predators in rehab?  See answer above.  It is also noted that you provided the link that was utilized and referenced in the below response that was sent on 07/08/2011.

Attaching Factual & Professional References below:

1.  The Executive Director of the National Bobcat Rescue and Research Foundation does not promote live feeding to bobcats in rehab:

“We do not use live prey here.  Their natural instincts take care of that.  We do, however, place small bowls of dog food and mouse food so that the wild rodents will enter the cages on their own and have a natural fighting chance. We ONLY work with Bobcats and other native species”.

Statement proves they promote the activity without actually supplying of animal (see highlighted area).

2.  The Clinical Director of the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife, Inc. in Florida does not promote live feeding to bobcats in rehab:

” We don’t use any live prey for feeding bobcats. I feel very strongly that the vast majority of our patients are very instinctual, and don’t need the live prey stimulus to tap into their wildness or train them to be hunters”.   I don’t feel that the white mouse or domestic rabbit as prey is a true test of hunting ability, as those aren’t the same prey that these predators will find out in the wild – and the act is far from fair to the mouse or rabbit.  I feel the same way about these as the bobcats…I feel that they have the instincts to be hunters and don’t need us to teach them”.

3.  According to Sandy Woltman, President of National Wildlife Rehabilitator’s Association:
NWRA neither condones nor condemns the feeding of live domestic rabbits to bobcats undergoing rehabilitation for release into the wild”.

 

 

Below is a response that was sent to you on 07/08/2011:

 

If you have no such guidelines please explain why these people are not charged with animal cruelty under the florida animal cruelty statutes that I have previously sent FWC,  domestic rabbits are clearly not a part of a wild animals diet or available in the wild (First, I am not an attorney and this question should be asked to each State Attorney’s Office in each judicial circuit as they all would have to provide their opinion.  Secondly, the feeding of live domestic rabbits systematically is no different than feeding live domestic rodents to predators.  The fact is that rabbits are part of a bobcats diet and we have to consider what is reasonably available to rehabbers in order to “as close as possible” mimic their natural prey to prepare the wild animal for release.  I will refer to the industry standard you provided “As the bobcat grows, provide it with larger mice, rats, or other prey it may encounter in its natural habitat.”  I may mention that the rats that the industry uses are non-wild domestic rats.  I will also add information from the document you provided “To trigger the growing bobcat’s hunting instinct, introduce live prey regularly.  Never feed a bobcat pet food.  Several weeks before release, the bobcat must be put on a live-kill diet.  The bobcat must be able to sustain its weight strictly on live kill.”  I have spoken with both our Legal Staff and a prosecutor from the State Attorney’s Office that specifically deals with high profile animal cruelty cases and it is of their opinion that this in no way meets the criteria of the Animal Cruelty statutes.

Here are some additional links:

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/25223514/PROCEDURES-for-BOBCAT-REHABILITATION

http://www.awrc.org.au/uploads/5/8/6/6/5866843/awrc_phillipa_mason.pdf

 

We observe that most organizations understand the importance of feeding prey to predators, yet do not specifically condone or condemn the use of rabbits.  FWC again understands your concerns over the feeding of “live” domesticated rabbits to predators in captivity.  Although, we feel that feeding “live prey” items to predators in rehabilitation is acceptable and needed to develop those instincts necessary for survival in the wild.  FWC considers rabbits, rats and mice to all be necessary prey items for rehabilitation of predators.

It is also noted that in the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association’s “Principles of Wildlife Rehabilitation” in chapter 8 “Mammals” states the following:

“Live food and fresh-killed carcasses (e.g., deer) are supplemental foods for carnivores such as bobcats and coyotes.  These species and other predators will not be interested in catching and killing a live rodent or rabbit if their hunger has been satiated before the prey has been put into the cage.  Only wildlife rehabilitators who can reconcile using live food should attempt to rehabilitate predators that require it, since it is crucial to the rehabilitation of the species.”

 

 

 

 

 

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