Exhibiting a rabbit

You cannot keep a rabbit as a pet in Queensland. However, you can obtain a European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) for the purpose of exhibiting to the public.

Exhibition licences

Under the Exhibited Animals Act 2015 (the Act) rabbits may be exhibited in accordance with the requirements for exhibiting and dealing with a European rabbit in Queensland policy.

You can also apply to:

  • exhibit and deal with the rabbit at the premises where the licence is issued to (regular enclosure site) — for example, a zoo where the public enter the regular enclosure site to view the rabbit
  • exhibit outside the regular enclosure site — for example, conducting an educational animal display at children's parties.

Exhibition licences are primarily granted to businesses that exhibit animals. Rabbits must be exhibited to an in-person audience (not virtually or online).

Applications that relate to activities outside of this scope or facilities that are primarily used for another commercial purpose where animals are intended to be exhibited to promote the primary business will not be endorsed. Examples include where a rabbit is held:

  • at a commercial premises such as a doctor's surgery, veterinary surgery, pet store, dentist practice, caravan park or similar
  • for human or animal therapy, or animal rescue facilities
  • at cafes, pubs, restaurants or similar
  • within schools or similar premises (such as universities and childcare centres)
  • to display to the same audience during each exhibit
  • at residential premises where the premises is not open to the public and the rabbit may only be viewed by appointment
  • for training other animals
  • to exhibit only for filming, imaging, social media platforms or similar.

Applying to exhibit a rabbit

You can apply to exhibit a rabbit by:

Your management plan must document how you will:

  • exhibit and deal with the rabbit on a daily basis
  • handle animal management issues relevant to:
    • animal welfare
    • human health
    • safety and wellbeing
    • social amenity
    • economy
    • environment.

These key issues refer to the risks and adverse effects of exhibiting and dealing with rabbits, and are referred to as your 'general exhibition and dealing obligation'.

Your management plan could include information about:

  • travel enclosure
  • regular enclosure at the regular enclosure site
  • management of the welfare risks for keeping and transporting the rabbit, and ensuring the risks of escape are minimised.

Your exhibition obligations

Rabbits are category B animals under the Act and all species under this category must be exhibited once in each calendar month.

  • If you exhibit a rabbit at more than 1 event throughout the day, to which the audience is predominantly the same, these events are not considered 2 separate occasions.
  • Attendance at private events, taking photos or filming the event and posting footage of the event online or any other similar activities, must be detailed in the management plan. Exhibiting an animal in this way does not count towards the minimum exhibit requirements.
  • Licence holders must keep records that detail information associated with exhibiting off the regular enclosure site or exhibit times at the regular enclosure site. These requirements are recorded in the Exhibited Animals Regulation 2016 and must be complied with at all times.
  • The exhibition licence will list the permitted activities for the rabbit in accordance with activities proposed and approved in the management plan. For example, you may submit a management plan detailing how you wish to exhibit a rabbit in a magic show off the regular enclosure site. The exhibition licence would record that the rabbit is approved to do certain activities for exhibition only off the regular enclosure site.
  • If you want to exhibit a rabbit at a regular enclosure site, additional requirements need to be met.
  • Unless written advice has been obtained by a veterinarian that desexing would harm the rabbit, all rabbits must be microchipped and desexed:
    • within 6 months of obtaining a juvenile rabbit
    • on obtaining an adult rabbit.

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