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Old 10-11-2012, 21:48   #1
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Cruising with Rabbits

I found only one thread here about rabbits and it was done in 2007.

I have three rabbits and I plan on getting a sailboat and cruising. My bunnies are very important to me so I simply won't give them up.

I am wondering what sort of reception I will receive in other countries. I am aware that some countries regard rabbits as pests. Mine are all spayed and neutered so I would hope that would minimize any pest objections. Any thoughts on problems I might have with authorities and how I could avoid these problems?

Rabbits are not normally given any shots. Being quite sensitive, shots are usually dangerous to them. Will I be told that they must have shots?

It is not necessary to exercise a rabbit. They will happily do laps in the salon or cockpit to get any exercise they need so taking them to shore will not be necessary. However I can anticipate there might be a problem if I wanted to stay at a marina.

My girl Thumper is a holy terror who chews everything. Shore-side I have everything protected against her teeth. I expect I'll do that on the boat also. The other two are perfect angels. All are litterbox trained.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this?
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Old 10-11-2012, 22:20   #2
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Re: Cruising with Rabbits

Where are you from and to what countries do you plan to travel with your bunny friends?
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Old 10-11-2012, 23:16   #3
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Re: Cruising with Rabbits

Just bring a big enough pot and make sure the burner can get to a high enough temp; should be fine.
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Old 11-11-2012, 00:33   #4
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Re: Cruising with Rabbits

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Originally Posted by Astrid View Post
Where are you from and to what countries do you plan to travel with your bunny friends?
I live in the US at the moment. I don't have a boat yet but I'm looking and saving to get one. I am not sure where I'll end up. Bahamas will likely be my first port. Then either DR, Haiti, Puerto Rico and the Windwards or Central America, Panama and the Pacific.

@ rebel heart:
Stewed rabbit = 10 minutes of pleasure
Rabbit as pet = 10-15 years with a snuggly and loving companion.
I prefer the years
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Old 11-11-2012, 01:31   #5
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Re: Cruising with Rabbits

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Just bring a big enough pot and make sure the burner can get to a high enough temp; should be fine.
That's really horrible. Pot's only legal in Washington, really bad advice taking weed into foreign countries. (and ... horrible!)
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Old 11-11-2012, 02:02   #6
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Re: Cruising with Rabbits

I would begin by checking with the authorities of the countries you plan to visit. For the most part, I believe, there should not be a problem if the rabbits do not leave the boat, but it is always best to check ahead of time and know what documentation you might need.
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Old 11-11-2012, 04:05   #7
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Re: Cruising with Rabbits

I'm familiar with pet rabbits, and I frequently baby sit one while a family of my acquaintance are away on holiday (the pretext is houseminding, but it's fairly thin.)

I'd personally be wary of taking a rabbit with a serious chewing habit aboard a boat.

There are a huge range of opportunities for damage, some pretty consequential, and protection would be a lot more difficult to arrange on most boats than ashore.

We had a water rat sneak up our anchor chain once and by the time he was discovered he'd stripped insulation off a bunch of wiring in the bilge, including transceiver wiring which was not replaceable without buying new equipment.

The thought of knowingly taking a rodent on board which had that sort of capacity, knowing that 'situations' crop up at sea which require that even human children must sometimes be left to fend for themselves until it's sorted ...

Another thought: There are multiple hoses on most boats to underwater fittings which, if their integrity is breached, will cause the ocean to take up residence in spaces intended for habitation and recreation. A potentially sad end for a soggy bunny....
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:08   #8
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Re: Cruising with Rabbits

I've cruised, and traveled internationally, with pets (parrots, cats, dogs), but not rabbits. Paperwork and requirements can vary significantly by jurisdiction. So, you will need to research the requirements of each country before you enter.

For example, the Cayman Islands have crazy requirements, but here in Guatemala they could care less (at least if coming in a private boat). In many countries it is really just a ruse to fleece you out of some cash.

There are also international regulations which apply to some animals (like parrots). I seriously doubt these apply to rabbits, but probably best to confirm. More on CITES regulations at Welcome to CITES.

If you don't have your paperwork in order it will at the very least complicate your entry and likely make it more expensive too. I have had officials threaten to confiscate animals, but never had them follow through -- in my experience this has just been a ruse to make their day a little more profitable.

Rabies is a big concern for locations which do not have it. So you should research that relative to rabbits.

And, believe it or not, I have seen other cruisers with Rabbits. A really Big F'ing Rabbit! Pic attached.
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:20   #9
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Re: Cruising with Rabbits

In France, they are banned from boats because they are considered to bring bad luck. They are NOT to be taken aboard, wether alive, dead or in picture. Sailors even refrain to say the word on a boat. When they have to explain this to a landlubber, they talk about "the hare's cousin" or "long ears"...

Alain
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:38   #10
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Re: Cruising with Rabbits

Civet de Lapin à la Française
Rabbit Stew with Red Wine


SERVES 6

A French civet is normally a winter dish made with hare. It is cooked in red wine and the sauce is traditionally thickened with the animal's blood, which gives the civet its characteristic colour and taste. A simpler year-round civet can be made with rabbit, marinated overnight in an aromatic mixture of wine, garlic and peppercorns. Even without the blood, this stew has a mildly gamey taste and is best served with a rich red wine either from Burgundy or the Côtes du Rhône.

1.75 kg (3.5 lb) rabbit


MARINADE
1 medium carrot, sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 whole cloves
20 peppercorns
1 Bouquet Garni
1 litre (1.75 pints) dry red wine
45 ml (3 tbsp) cognac
15 ml (1 tbsp) vegetable oil

100 g (3.5 oz) butter
45 ml (3 tbsp) flour
Salt and freshley ground pepper
1 kg (2 lb) waxy potatoes (red or white)
36 pickling onions
15 ml (1 tbsp) sugar
150 g (5 oz) green unsmoked bacon, sliced 1 cm (1/4 inch) thick
15 ml (1 tbsp) vegetable oil
225 g (8 oz) button ov quartered large mushrooms, trimmed

CROÛTONS
3 sliced day-old white bread, crusts removed
30 g (1 oz) buttr, melted
45 ml (3 tbsp) chopped parsley

Cut the rabbit into serving pieces (see technique photographs). Put the pieces into a non-aluminium container with all of the marinade ingredients except the oil, then drizzle the oil over the top. Leave the rabbit to marinate for at least 12 hours, or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 220 C (425 F) mark 7.

Remove the rabbit pieces from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Strain the marinade; reserve the liquid and the vegetables separately. Heat 45 g (1.5 oz) butter in a heavy flameproof casserole over high heat. Add the rabbit pieces and cook until golden brown on all sides. Transfer to a shallow dish. Add the marinated vegetables to the casserole and cook over high heat until lightly browned. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the marinade and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the marinade for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Return the rabbit pieces to the casserole, season with salt and pepper and cook in the oven for about 45 minutes, until the pieces are tender when pierced with a knife.

Meanwhile, turn and boil the potatoes à l'anglaise. Meanwhile, keep warm in the cooking liquid.

Peel and glaze the pickling onions with 15 g (1/2 oz) butter, a pinch of salt and the sugar. Cover to keep warm.

Cut the bacon into lardons; blanch and drain. Heat 15 ml (1 tbsp) oil and 30 g (1 oz) butter in a frying pan over high heat. Add the blanched lardons and cook until crisp and golden. Drain and add to the pan with the onions.

Heat 30 g (1 oz) butter in the pan used for the lardons. Add the mushrooms and cook over high heat until the moisture has evaporated and the mushrooms are golden. Add to the pan with the onions and the lardons.

Prepare the croûtons: cut each slice of bread in half to form 2 triangles. Brush each triangle on both sides with melted butter and arrange on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven until golden; set aside.

When the rabbit is tender, remove from the oven. Transfer the rabbit pieces to a bowl. Strain the cooking liquid, pressing down on the solids to extract the liquid; discard the solids. Return the strained liquid to the casserole, bring to the boil, and reduce over medium heat until thickened Return the rabbit, along with the onions, lardons and mushrooms to the casserole and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

To serve, transfer the rabbit, onions, lardons and mushrooms to a large serving platter with a slotted spoon. Dip one end of each croûton into the sauce and then into the chopped parsley and arrange around the edge of the platter. Spoon the sauce over the rabbit and vegetables. Serve with the boiled potatoes.

just kidding,they make great pets!
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:48   #11
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Re: Cruising with Rabbits

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Civet de Lapin à la Française
Rabbit Stew with Red Wine
......
Atoll, you a SUCH stirrer!
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Old 11-11-2012, 09:01   #12
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Re: Cruising with Rabbits

They are cool animals ,had a few hop around my childhood home,eventually cut every eletcric cord in the house ,many are potty smart but but they need to chew to keep their constantly growing teeth in check. My guess is this is an unfeasible proposition even if you never go abroad.
Regarding showing up on foreign shores with a novel cargo; it has been my experience that when you do your homework and get the OK from the embassy and the "no problem" reassurance from some staffer, you will find the local custom officials will sneer at these reassuring bureaucrats and tell you that they do not know what they are talking about. At that point ,reach for your wallet.
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Old 11-11-2012, 09:47   #13
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Re: Cruising with Rabbits

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....sneer at these reassuring bureaucrats and tell you that they do not know what they are talking about. At that point ,reach for your wallet.
A handy Spanish phrase for such occasions, spoken BEFORE you reach for your wallet, which you won't find in most phrase books:

Quote:
tal vez hay otra solución?
English equivalent: "Perhaps there is another solution?"

I find this works well in most Central American countries. I think because you are not insulting anyone by offering them an outright bribe and you are asking for assistance rather than trying to tell them what to do.

I've had many officials respond favorably to this question, often without overtly asking for a bribe, but they've always been appreciative of the "tip" ("propina") I left them for helping me out.

This alone, or combined with the polite, but ignorant, gringo routine works well too..."Papers what papers? Really, for a rabbit!? I did not know I needed those. Can you help me?" (Background image: locals passing freely through checkpoint with all manner of livestock!).

I've also found that fresh caught fish helps grease the skids at border crossing...and if all this fails...well...rabbit is somewhat of delicacy in these parts...
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:16   #14
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Re: Cruising with Rabbits

Rabbits have super natural powers...A friend of mine told me that he had one that died on him so he buried it out back,he went away for a few days and asked the guy next door to look after things,when he came back the rabbit was in the hutch!...He said the guy next doors dog had showed up with the rabbit in his mouth and the guy thought his dog had killed it,so he put it back in the cage!...I told this to someone else once and they told me that they saw that on a TV show! My friend said that he didnt make it up,that it did happen!...they do taste like chicken...
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Old 11-11-2012, 13:08   #15
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Re: Cruising with Rabbits

Although they both do share the characteristic of teeth that continuously grow, rabbits are lagomorphs, not rodents. I lived aboard for a number of years and was twice boarded by a rat so I am very aware of the damage they can do. Rabbits are too large to fit into hidden spaces so the danger they present to boat wiring and plumbing is not nearly as great as rats. Thumper, my one naughty, wire-eating bunny is pushing 9 now so she might not even be around by the time I travel.

I checked CITES. They deal with endangered species. Domestic rabbits are far from endangered and are not listed.

Rabies should not be a concern. It is transmitted through a bite and a bitten rabbit seldom survives to get rabies. So a rabid rabbit is very rare.

The bunny in the picture is a Flemish Giant. Do you have a contact for the owner ? She might have experience with cruising with a rabbit. A lady in England has one that weighs 40-some pounds. The smallest rabbits are Netherland Dwarfs which can weigh less than two pounds.

My bunnies are as precious to me as children are to others, perhaps more so. Does anyone have a recipe for "Civet de Enfant Gâté à la Française" (Spoiled Brat in Red Wine)? Or do you simply substitute the brat and his blood for the rabbit? The spices needed might be different, that is unless brats also taste like chicken. Seriously though, I am very concerned that an official might decide to turn one of my "children" into his entrée.

Quote:
tal vez hay otra solución?
Cool, that sounds useful. I speak fluent Spanish (Andaluz) but I'm not sure how good my "officialdom dialect" is. My experience has been that a gringo that speaks Spanish is usually met with surprise and is more welcome than one who doesn't. I'm not sure if that would apply to officialdom in a country I visit, though. Maybe I'd be better off playing dumb?
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