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Rabbit-Welfare / Back

Is a Rabbit For Me?



52% of UK households own a pet, of which, 3% of the population own rabbits. It’s estimated that there are 1.2 million pet rabbits in the UK, and they are the third most popular pet. Rather worryingly though, 69% of pet owners are unfamiliar with the Animal Welfare Act [1], which sets out the welfare needs that they are responsible for ensuring. There are many different breeds of rabbit, varying in size, shape and personality. A pet rabbit is a long term commitment, and if cared for correctly, rabbits can live for up to 8 – 12 years. [2]




Rabbits Are Misunderstood

Before getting a pet rabbit make sure you know all the facts about what is really involved and learn about what is needed to give them the happy fulfilled life they deserve. A rabbit is a long term commitment, and can live up to 12 years. [2] They need a lot of time, money and care, but are worth it, as they can be such loving animals. A rabbit shouldn’t be an impulse buy, and is not really a suitable pet for children. Rabbits make great family pets, but remember, it takes time to build up a relationship with a bunny, as they learn that they can trust you. Most rabbits don’t like being picked up or cuddled, and can get scared. It’s better to get down on their level. [67]


Domestic rabbits are not that different to their wild counterparts, and their basic needs and behaviour are very similar. [2] They are prey animals, which has an impact on what they eat, how they communicate, and the way they behave. Rabbits do not like bright lights, preferring to spend most of their time in low light/dark conditions. [37]






If you do decide to take on the responsibility of a pet rabbit, don’t just head down to the nearest pet shop, take a visit to your local rescue centre and adopt instead. See Rescue Centres – Adopt Don’t Shop


A pet rabbit is a big responsibility, and by law, you have a duty to care for them properly. See The Animal Welfare Act