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"The Journal News" featured Haub Visiting Scholar Delcianna Winders in "Most bunnies bought for Easter 'end up dead or abandoned'"

03/29/2018

"The Journal News" featured Haub Visiting Scholar Delcianna Winders in "Most bunnies bought for Easter 'end up dead or abandoned'"

Everything you think you know about rabbits is wrong. 

Let’s start with the basics: They don’t eat that many carrots. 

“In children’s literature there are tons and tons of rabbits eating carrots,” said Mary Basile of White Plains, president of an organization called Rabbit Rescue & Rehab. “That should be a treat in serious moderation. The primary source of food for a rabbit is hay.”

Carrots are just the beginning. Basile said rabbits are “misunderstood.”

“Everything we’re taught and learn about rabbits is very, very wrong,” she said, though the most important misconception, for Basile, is that bunnies make a good gift. 

Rabbits are often given as gifts for Easter, "a time of year when many rabbits are impulsively purchased, most of them only to end up dead or abandoned before their first birthday," said Delcianna Winders, an attorney with PETA and the Haub Visiting Scholar specializing in animal law at  Pace University Law School.

People believe “they’re these cuddly, suitable-for-children pets,” Basile said. “That’s totally, completely false.”

Let’s debunk another common rabbit misconception: They don’t like to be cuddled. 

Basile said picking a rabbit up off the ground often sparks a fight-or-flight response. They’re prey, and are carried off by hawks and coyotes.

“When a human picks up a rabbit it’s that same sensation,” and it will sometimes bite defensively in response, Basile said. “The way that people interact with them really brings out the worst in them.”

Unfortunately for the rabbits, people learn quickly how difficult they are to care for. 

“They’re the third-most surrendered animal at shelters,” Basile said. “People buy them from breeders and then have no idea how to care for them.”

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"Daily News" featured Haub Visiting Scholar Delcianna Winders piece "Why is it so hard for President Trump to flatly forbid trophy hunting imports?"

03/13/2018

"Daily News" featured Haub Visiting Scholar Delcianna Winders piece "Why is it so hard for President Trump to flatly forbid trophy hunting imports?"

Written by: Delcianna Winders

Winders is the PETA Foundation’s vice president and deputy general counsel for captive animal law enforcement and a visiting scholar at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University.

It’s been three years since the world erupted in outrage when Cecil the lion was selfishly and ineptly hunted down by Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer. The callous killing of Cecil threw a harsh spotlight on the slaughtering of animals for their body parts — “trophies” — so they can be stuffed and hung up on walls in macabre tableaux mounted by insecure men. (Yes, it’s almost exclusively men who participate in this so-called sport.) It’s time for our government to stop being complicit in this indefensible horror.

Earlier this week, the Trump administration announced that the import of body parts of African elephants shot for sport could be allowed on a case-by-case basis. This news came only a few months after the President spoke out against the practice and put the decision on hold. Back in November, President Trump tweeted, “Big-game trophy decision will be announced next week but will be very hard pressed to change my mind that this horror show in any way helps conservation of Elephants or any other animal.”

He was right then and if he meant it, he needs to direct his agency, the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), to do its job and protect wildlife, not trophy hunters.

Importing elephant “trophies” is currently illegal unless a government agency allows an exception to the law that is supposed to protect endangered species, and there is no legitimate basis for allowing the body parts of imperiled animals to be imported into our country.

New reports detail Cecil’s last hours. According to the forthcoming book “Lion Hearted: The Life and Death of Cecil & the Future of Africa’s Iconic Cats,” By biologist Andrew Loveridge, after deliberately luring him outside the confines of a national park in order to skirt regulations, Palmer shot Cecil with his first steel arrow but missed his vital organs and major arteries. The majestic lion suffered for 10 to 12 excruciatingly painful hours before finally being “dispatched” with a second arrow from a compound bow.

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