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Chicks,rabbits poor Easter gifts

With Easter just around the corner The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) is asking people not to buy or give small animals and birds as gifts.

With Easter just around the corner The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) is asking people not to buy or give small animals and birds as gifts.

"One of the biggest mistakes parents can make at Easter is to surprise their children with chicks, ducklings and other animals," says Al Hickey, HSC western regional director.

"Every beautiful chick and duckling grows up into a large bird with specific needs that don't fit in with the lifestyle of most households. 

Children suffer when they have become attached to the birds which are taken away at some point. Because they are so small and sensitive, often chicks and ducklings are harmed by children.

Parents should also be concerned about chicks and ducklings because they can cause Salmonella poisoning, which has been linked to these birds.

"Considerable heart ache for everyone involved can be avoided by not getting these animals for children at Easter," states Hickey.

Rabbits are also popular Easter gifts, but they require committed owners. They can live up to 10 years. Easter is a hectic time of year, so if a family decides to adopt a rabbit, they are advised to wait until after the holiday and make sure everyone is willing to pitch in and help.

Pet owners are also reminded that chocolate, found in abundance in many homes at Easter, can be deadly for pets. The green artificial grass used in Easter baskets can cause gastrointestinal blockages if consumed by pets.