Stray rabbits are getting a raw deal in Sweden. Thousands of them living in the center of Stockholm are being culled, deep frozen and converted into biofuel for heating homes. Wildlife campaigners have criticized the practice.
Thousands of rabbits, some of them pets abandoned by their owners, are being shot, deep-frozen and burned in a heating plant in Sweden, a professional hunter who works for the city of Stockholm said on Tuesday.
The centre of the Swedish capital is being plagued by thousands of rabbits, some of them wild and some of them stray pets, and 3,000 have been culled this year, down from 6,000 in 2008, Tommy Tuvunger, who hunts rodents for the Stockholm city administration said.
"We are shooting rabbits in Stockholm centre, they are a very big problem," said Tuvunger. The rabbits are eating their way through the city's central parks. "Once culled, the rabbits are frozen and when we have enough; a contractor comes and takes them away. "
Tuvunger said it was normal for animal carcasses to be processed for fuel. "The contractor doesn't just pick up rabbits, he also picks up cats, deer, horses and cows," said Tuvunger.
The frozen bunnies are shipped to a heating plant in central Sweden which uses them as biofuel and incinerates them to heat homes. A spokeswoman for the plant declined to comment. The plant's supplier, Konvex, a company that produces biofuels from animals, could not immediately be reached for comment.
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