Magazine article The Spectator

Banned Wagon

Magazine article The Spectator

Banned Wagon

Article excerpt

IN one of James Thurber's short stories, rabbits were blamed for starting earthquakes by beating their little hind legs against the ground. It could well have been inspired by officials at the Ministry of Agriculture. Not satisfied with having tried to exterminate the rabbit population with myxomatosis, officialdom continues to view little bunnies as a threat to humanity.

Later this month, in a rare and welcome piece of deregulation, dog and cat owners will regain the freedom to take their animals abroad and bring them home without having to put them in six months' quarantine. Until recently rabbit owners were led to believe that their animals, too, would be included in the legislation. But when the details were unveiled rabbits were mysteriously omitted. Even with a vaccine and a vet's certificate the animals will still have to serve six months in quarantine: no joke when your expected lifespan is only five years. …

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