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What Do You Think?

Ask the Judge - Jan/Feb/March 2007


When rabbits are placed in the holding cages behind the judge's table, I have seen instances of the rabbits getting injured by animals next to them. If a rabbit is placed beside an aggressive animal, would it be appropriate to ask to place my animal in a carrying cage until it is time for BOB?
From Jan Coffelt:
I believe that before I would see the face of my Dutch torn up by an aggressive animal I would say something. However, you do have to think before you do. I would address the situation to the table writer or ramrod in a quiet manor at first if possible. I would offer a carry cage of my own to help the situation. The cage could hold my animal or the aggressive one. Using words that do not inform the judge and others that the animal in question is mine. Just saying something to the effect that the animals are fighting should make the judge aware there is a problem. Most judges would want to prevent an injury to the animals in their charge. Further if nothing is done about the situation I would continue to find someone including the show superintendent to intercede. Last ditch effort I would pull the animal from the class. It would not be worth it to me to have the animal injured.
If the judge is not holding just the BOV'S and BOSV'S behind the table, but perhaps animals from a very large class you could not remove the animal from the area. Therefore the carry cage would have to be left in the judging area.

From Keith McNinch:

I would personally honor the request from an exhibitor asking that an animal be moved to avoid possible injury. The animal could be moved to a distant holding pen instead of a carrier, but action would be taken. The aggressive animal could also be moved and isolated from the others. Notification from exhibitors about conflict in the holding area, unbeknownst to me, would be welcomed.

From Briony Barnes:

Unfortunately this is a common problem, but the statement "my rabbit" is ALWAYS inappropriate. You should never identify your rabbit to the judge or, since our hearing is better than some exhibitors think, anyone else at the table.
If you see aggression or fighting between animals that are being held back for a possible award, a better solution would be to say, "I have noticed those animals fighting. Would you mind if we use carrying cages instead of the holding coops?" Be prepared to offer up your own carriers, which should be clean and have solid dividers. Offer to assist the judge and/or ramrod in placing all the animals (not just yours) in the carriers. A good judge will be concerned about the well being of the animals and will appreciate your finding a solution that doesn't compromise the show rules.

From Kevin Hooper:

As in many cases, it is not what you ask, but it is how you ask. As a judge, I want those animals to remain safe as well! So, I would suggest notifying the judge of the potential problem, even if it is someone else's rabbit. By letting the judge know they are fighting or about to be injured, without letting them know who owns the rabbit, you are doing
what all of us would want to see, the animal remains safe, while the judge just moves someone's rabbit.

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