Exhibiting a rabbit

You cannot keep a rabbit as a pet in Queensland. However, you can obtain a European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) for the purposes of exhibiting to the public. Under the Exhibited Animals Act 2015 (EAA) rabbits are category B species and may be exhibited for purposes such as educational exhibits or for entertainment.

You can also apply to exhibit and deal with the rabbit at the premise where the licence is issued to (regular enclosure site). An example may include an invasive pest educational centre, or a zoo where the public enter the regular enclosure site to view the rabbit. Rabbits may also be obtained solely for the purposes of exhibition outside of the premise where the licence is issued to (off the regular enclosure site). An example of activities permitted solely off the regular enclosure site include persons in the business of conducting magic performances at children’s parties.

How do I apply to exhibit a rabbit?

You can apply for a rabbit by completing and submitting 1 of the following:

You will also need to submit a management plan that gives detailed information on how you propose to exhibit and deal with the rabbit on a daily basis

Identifying the animal management issues relevant to animal welfare, human health, safety and wellbeing, social amenity, the economy and the environment are all key concepts that would need to be covered in a management plan. These key concepts refer to the relevant risks and adverse effects of exhibiting and dealing with the species and are referred to as your 'general exhibition and dealing obligation'.

An example of information which must be addressed in the management plan would include:

  • travel enclosure details
  • details of the regular enclosure at the regular enclosure site
  • management of the welfare risks associated with keeping and transporting the rabbit as well as ensuring the risks of escape are minimised.

How are rabbits categorised under the EAA and what are the exhibition obligations?

Rabbits are category B animals 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.

Private events, taking photos or filming the event and posting footage of the event on the internet, or any other similar activities are considered exhibiting the animal and these activities must be detailed in the management plan. Exhibiting an animal in this way does not count towards the minimum exhibit requirements unless it is for film and television production in the form of a story, narrative or documentary.

Licence holders must also keep records which detail information such as which exhibits are off the regular enclosure site or exhibit times on the regular enclosure site. Record keeping requirements such as these are recorded in the Exhibited Animals Regulation 2016 and must be complied with at all times.

The exhibition licence approving a rabbit for exhibit will list the permitted activities for the rabbit as outlined 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 (for example, exhibit the rabbit at the address where the licence is issued to) additional requirements need to be met.

All rabbits must be microchipped and desexed within 6 months of obtaining the rabbit if a juvenile, or on obtaining the rabbit as an adult, unless written advice has been obtained by a veterinarian that desexing would be detrimental to its welfare.

If a licence holder is not permitted to exhibit a rabbit to the public at the regular enclosure site, but would like to record the animal's image using photos or filming to be viewed by the public, the risks associated with this activity must be addressed within the management plan.

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