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Gloucester leaders challenged over "pest" Barnwood Bunnies

By The Citizen  |  Posted: January 28, 2013

One of the roundabout rabbits

Comments (8)

CITY leaders were challenged over checking up on the welfare of "pest" rabbits which it was feared were disappearing from a roundabout.

Civic watchdog Kay Powell asked Gloucester City Council why it was concerned about the Wall's roundabout rabbits but apparently not the horses stuck in mud and floodwater at St Oswald's last month.

"Given that rabbits are legally classified as a pest, was it the best use of council officer time to send someone to Wall's roundabout to see why there are less of them?" she asked during public question time at Thursday's full council meeting.

Cabinet member for communities and neighbourhoods, Councillor Kathy Williams, explained why an officer visited the roundabout to check on the so-called Barnwood Bunnies, which have Facebook and Twitter accounts dedicated to them.

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"She may be in a minority in Gloucester," said Coun Williams (Con, Longlevens). "A lot of people value seeing them. They have become a national point of interest. There was a concern something was going wrong.

"We have a duty to animal wildlife. There was concern there was an itinerant sleeper on that roundabout as well. To put those matters to rest, we sent an officer to make sure the rabbits and everything else was okay."

Ms Powell asked if the council acted in the same way over the 60 horses stranded by floodwater.

"Did you send someone out to look at those horses in the mud?" she asked.

Coun Williams replied: "We do work with the RSPCA. It was aware of the situation and we left the matter in their hands." The horses were all removed by the owner, after volunteers acted to get them to higher ground.

Fears the Barnwood Bunnies were being poached, expressed by big cat tracker Frank Tunbridge, were allayed by Gloucestershire police who sent an officer to check on the rabbits.

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  • eyeopener  |  January 28 2013, 3:50PM

    honslknjklyt and Areaman seem unable to see the wood for the trees. A quick 'Google' will show that at a local level, there are no official civic watchdogs. However at national government level there are unelected bodies appointed by government as watchdogs. It just seems to silly, and petty, to criticise Kay Powell who did not write the report or make any such claim; and completely ignore her points about the councils inconsistent behaviour over rabbits and horses. Kay Powell as a TIG reader would have been aware that both the RSPCA through pertinent advice,and the efforts of the owner and volunteers had led to a successful rescue. Her not unreasonable point, was that if the council were prepared to leave the horse situation for others to resolve, why didn't they do the same for a less deserving case such as the rabbits?

    |   6
  • honslknjklyt  |  January 28 2013, 1:37PM

    Kay powell don't watch no Civics for me.

  • 2ladybugs  |  January 28 2013, 11:15AM

    Quote: "They have become a national point of interest" Get real.....the only way they would become of any interest is if they were served up in a dish labelled "Beef Casserole" and served to an unsuspecting Frank Tunbridge. They are pests....vermin, not just another fluffy bunny from a Beatrix Potter story!!!!!

    |   -14
  • Douglasknows  |  January 28 2013, 10:34AM

    You mean it wasn't a big cat that was responsible for the disappearing Barnwood bunnies Frank?

    |   4
  • geraint2010  |  January 28 2013, 10:06AM

    Horses are back (along with a lot of litter) on the flood-prone strip of land adjacent to the River Severn and A417 between the Over roundabout and Maisemore. And more floods are anticipated!

    |   10
  • TimMessanger  |  January 28 2013, 9:59AM

    The council should not work with the R$PCA as it is a political organisation!

    |   3
  • Zindafud  |  January 28 2013, 9:51AM

    "Fears the Barnwood Bunnies were being poached" They were not poached, they were stewed with carrots, potatoes and dumplings.

    |   10
  • Areaman  |  January 28 2013, 8:51AM

    In what way is Kay Powell a "Civic Watchdog", at the very least it should read "self-appointed" first...

    |   10