Stop sending baby Easter animals to their deaths!

We are asking stores to stop selling Easter pets for just 3 days out of the year: the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday before Easter Sunday.
From the Centers for Disease Control (CDC): Baby animals, including baby chicks and ducks, are sometimes given as gifts or put on display at Easter. Young birds often carry harmful bacteria called Salmonella. Each spring some children become infected with Salmonella after receiving a baby chick or duckling for Easter.

Children can be exposed to the bacteria by simply holding, cuddling, or kissing the birds. Others at increased risk include persons with HIV/AIDS, pregnant women, the elderly and other immunocompromised persons.

From the animals' standpoint, many people are unprepared for caring for adult chickens, ducks, or rabbits.  Studies show that up to 95% of baby bunnies purchased for Easter never reach their first birthday.  Baby ducks are often abandoned in ponds, where they will starve to death or be killed by predators when the pond freezes, as they are unable to fly like their wild cousins.

Please, don't buy animals and if you don't want to keep them for many years!  It puts your children at risk, and sets a bad example for them for taking proper care of pets.

Dear Officers of Tractor Supply, Orshelns, and other farm supply stores;

We the undersigned respectfully request that you consider stopping the sale of baby chicks, ducks, or bunnies in your stores for just three days a year.  During the week of Easter, many well meaning parents buy cute baby animals for their children.  Very few of these animals will live out the year.  Studies show that up to 95% of baby rabbits survive one year after purchase as an Easter pet.  Every year, thousands of domestic ducks are abandoned in ponds and lakes, where they will almost always die in the winter from either starvation or predation since they cannot fly and migrate like their wild cousins.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) strongly recommends against the purchase of these animals as pets for children.  Please see for their stance.

Would you please consider shutting down the sale of these animals for just three days, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday prior to Easter Sunday, and instead stock stuffed animals?  That way, both the people and the animals in question would be healthier.  Those people who know how to care for these species properly would still be able to purchase them during the spring during your regularly scheduled sale time.

Thank you so much for your consideration.

Julie Burge, DVM
Burge Bird Services
Burge Bird Rescue
13833 S US Highway 71
Grandview, MO 64030

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