ACTIVISTS have put the welfare of rabbits before people after the creatures destroyed floral tributes at a cemetery.
The creatures ate their way through every fresh bunch leading to them being culled after upset relatives complained.
But activists responded by sending offensive messages to a local councillor who defended the cull of 30 rabbits at Cockermouth Cemetery, Cumbria, in the UK.
Councillor Len Davies from Allerdale Borough Council hired a marksman to shoot the rabbits after being contacted by elderly relatives who complained their flowers were being eaten.
He has since s received a number of abusive emails from animal rights activists.
Some of the emails suggested that Mr Davies was cruel to animals and would happily shoot a dog if it misbehaved.
In response to the threats Mr Davies said: “I am not a sensitive sort and have will just give as good as I get.
“I am an animal lover and it’s a shame that the rabbits have to be shot.”
The councillor has taken legal advice from Allerdale council after receiving the offensive messages.
Meanwhile the Animal Aid charity has not backed down and said it has written to Allerdale to advise on alternatives to culling rabbits.
Its spokesman Tod Bradbury said: “We hope that the council will find the alternatives provided to them useful and seek to adopt them in order to resolve the situation.”