Siena Britt, 3, of Sippy Downs, is the proud owner of “Mr Fluffy Bum”, a domestic rabbit that her magician father Nick Britt had to jump through hoops to keep.
Queensland is the only state in Australia that strictly prohibits keeping domestic rabbits as pets. Offenders face fines of $45,500.
Mr Britt is one of 34 magicians in Queensland permitted to keep a rabbit, but he said the application process was extreme.
“I had to apply for a permit, provide proof that I was a magician with publicity photos and send through an escape plan in case he got loose,” Mr Britt said.
The pet required immediate desexing and microchipping and his permit must be renewed every two years or he could face extradition.
“I also had to find a veterinarian from the UK to perform the operation because no one in Queensland is used to dealing with rabbits,” he said.
“I would like to see the law change because rabbits are one of the best pets you can have and my daughter loves hers.”
Renewed calls for domestic rabbits to be kept as pets have been rejected by the Queensland Government. A Biosecurity spokesman said there were “no plans to legalise the keeping of rabbits as pets in Queensland”.
“Rabbits are illegal… because if they escape, they eat pastures and crops, can compete with native animals, destroy the landscape, and are a primary cause of soil erosion and preventing regeneration of native vegetation,” the spokesman said.
Pet Industry Association of Australia’s Paul Westaway said domestic rabbits made “wonderful pets”, could not survive in the wild and could be taught to use litter trays.
“They’re an inside pet and bond well with humans, they also make great therapeutic pets for the elderly,” he said.
Mr Westaway called on the government to catch up with the rest of the country.
“I’d certainly like to see something done about it, whether they’ve got the fortitude to do something about it, I don’t know.”