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 1. Rather worryingly though, 69% of pet owners are unfamiliar with the Animal Welfare Act, which sets out the welfare needs that they are responsible for ensuring 1. 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
The Animal Welfare Act
The Animal Welfare Act is applicable in England and Wales, and applies to the welfare of all animals. In Wales, there is also a specific Code of Practice for the Welfare of Rabbits.
The Real Cost of Keeping a Pet Rabbit
It’s sickening that rabbits are sold for so little, and generally the public aren’t educated by the seller about how much they will cost to keep. (These costs are based on Company Owner, Alex’s, own experiences of caring for his much loved rabbits).
Rescue Centres - Adopt Don’t Shop
33,000 rabbits are handed to rescue centres each year. Rescue centres do a great job taking in all of these unwanted rabbits, but they are being stretched by the amount of rabbits that are abandoned. There is an oversupply of rabbits, causing many rescues to become overworked and stressed. People should be doing what they can to help relieve them of the burden by adopting from them, rather than purchasing from a store or breeder.