A Very Renewable Energy Source

Faced with a plague of rabbits, some wild and some abandoned pets, the city of Stockholm is pursuing a unique pest-control strategy. The city is hunting, deep-freezing, and shipping the rabbits to a heating plant in central Sweden where they’re processed for fuel. Three thousand rabbits have been culled this year. (Side question: how well do rabbits climb musical stairs?) Sweden’s Society for the Protection of Wild Rabbits objects to the policy: “Those who support the culling of rabbits surely think it’s good to use the bodies for a good cause. But it feels like they’re trying to turn the animals into an industry rather than look at the main problem.” We haven’t heard about any rabbit infestations in the U.S., but if this report is true, we foresee a “green” solution to our Lyme disease problem. (HT: FP Passport)[%comments]


This is not a clear cut issue. The rabbits are mainly restricted to one large island (Kungsholmen) and cause a fair amount of damage to the local vegetation. A few loud voices have prompted the "cull" but most people don't care.

However, the environmental costs of actually freezing and transporting the dead rabbits far outweigh any potential benefits.

It's been in the news here for a couple of weeks but this is old news and most people think it's fairly disgusting.


How much energy is used in freezing and thawing the bodies? How much energy is generated from a given body?

What's the net?


Clearly the Swedish are evolved beyond the rest of the world... what with a "Society for the Protection of Wild Rabbits."


This is not an energy thing, it's a "we need to get rid of a lot of carcasses, I wonder who might have a suitable incinerator"-thing. Trust me, nobody is turning rabbit hunting for energy purposes into an industry, not even Swedes.

jane O'Hara

Did you come across this in Stockholm?????
How was the show last night.


The only thing crazier is trying to get rid of a rat infestation with barn owls.



Nearby in Helsinki, the frozen rabbits are fed to Lions and other big cats in the zoo.


The only flag this raises is the question on whether or not this is ethical. Many wildlife protectionists will likely be against it and argue on the grounds that "expendable" wild-life, such as the rabbits in Sweden and the Deer in the US, will become resources such as oil or gas. Once the population of these creatures begins to dwindle, said protectionists will begin to cry out in outrage that these animals are near extinction and should be a protected species.

In regards to the cost of transporting, containing, freezing, de-freezing, or anything involved in the process of making bio-fuel out of these pests, if the marginal cost of making rabbits into bio-fuel is low enough to actually make a profit, and if the actual bio-fuel is a suitable alternative to other bio-fuels, I would give it two thumbs up. My only concern, going back to the ethics is, would we have the control over it to stop the "production" and distribution of this bio-fuel once the population of these animals dwindles to a dangerous level?



Is there some reason why they can't be used for meat or fur?


it dosent help me at all