Agencies Implore Public Not To Give Animals As Easter Gifts

Who doesn’t love a chocolate rabbit, a peanut butter egg, or a sugary chick shaped Peep as Easter gifts? While that’s all well and good, there’s something you shouldn’t give as Easter gifts — the real live versions.

As we get closer and closer to Easter, multiple agencies are stepping forward and imploring the public to not give live animals as Easter gifts. While it seem like a cute idea and in harmony with the whole idea of spring and Easter as being a time of new life, agencies such as the Tennessee Department of Agriculture and the Tennessee Department of Health are warning people about the dangers of gifting animals for Easter.

According to the Tennesseean, the agencies are warning that exposure to those cute little chicks or ducklings could also mean exposure to salmonella, which causes the death of approximately 400 people a year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Children, senior citizens and people with weak immune systems are most susceptible to a severe reaction and should never handle these birds,” warns the Tennessean.

Health Department epidemiologist Tim Jones stated, “Live poultry may have salmonella germs in their droppings and on their bodies even when they appear healthy and clean.”

Jones added, “Those germs can also get on cages, coops, feed and water dishes, and other items where the birds live and roam and can be found on the hands, shoes and clothing of people who handle the birds, or work or play around them.”

If that’s not enough to sway you from giving an animal as an Easter gift this year, the Miami Herald asks the public to consider the dangers to the animals.

The Miami Herald points out, “Many of these pet rabbits die within six months as a result of poor diet and unhealthy conditions.”

Also, “Others suffer injuries from being handled incorrectly.”

What about diet and exercise? Well, the whole myth that rabbits only eat carrots is just that. The Miami Herald explains that carrots are a just a “treat,” with rabbits needing plenty of greens and hay along with exercise.

What happens when the public realizes just how much work their new Easter gifts are?

“Sadly because of the ‘Easter rabbit obsession,’ too many of these lovely creatures end up as rescues looking for new homes.”

As these agencies and experts have implored, if you want to give some great Easter gifts, stick to the chocolate versions and not the live ones.

[Photo Courtesy of the Inhabitots]

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