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Pet Rabbits Get a RAW Deal: 75% Poorly Cared For in the UK (VIDEO)

Pet Rabbits Get a RAW Deal: 75% Poorly Cared For in the UK (VIDEO)

Rabbits are the third most popular pet in the UK after dogs and cats; in the US, they’re in 7th place, after cats, fish, dogs, birds, livestock and horses. Sadly, as many as 75% of 2 million pet rabbits in the UK are poorly cared for and their needs misunderstood according to a survey by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) cited in the Guardian.

Says RSPCA inspector Tony Woodley:

“If you ask any RSPCA officer which animal they feel most sorry for, it’s usually the poor, forgotten rabbit sitting in a tiny hutch without the proper food, or any food at all, and some dirty water. It might once have been loved for a brief time by some child, but it has quickly been forgotten and it’s a very sad sight that I have seen countless times.”

Woodley said rabbits were often mistakenly seen as an “easy” pet instead of the smart, sociable and curious animal with a need to run and dig that they are. “People have been keeping rabbits in this country for a long time, but it originally was kept as food, so it would be in a tiny hutch for a very short period of time.

“But people are still buying these small cramped things, and the pet industry is still putting them out there for sale, and they are terrible. Rabbits are gregarious animals: they live in the wild in groups.”

In the video below, Woodsley talks about the thousands of neglected rabbits the RSPCA finds every year.

Three-quarters of the rabbits seen by British veterinarians are obese and have poor teeth, the latter because they are being fed “convenience foods” rather than grass, hay and fresh grass. Furthermore, it’s noted that 60% of rabbit owners “didn’t know that their pets were intelligent and social creatures that needed mental stimulation.”

The upcoming week has been proclaimed Rabbit Awareness Week in the UK “because rabbits get a RAW deal.” You can read more about rabbits’ needs as far as diet, company and environment at the Rabbit Awareness Week site. 

As for myself, I’m glad to watch the wild rabbits scampering around in our yard. They can help themselves to all the grass they want, anytime.

 

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Photo by ruurmo

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130 comments

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6:44PM PDT on Jun 3, 2011

@Julie D.
A lovely story. This is the only acceptable life for a pet rabbit. In fact, only yesterday my neighbour asked me if I knew of anyone who wanted a rabbit, as someone was getting rid of theirs. So if you really miss the antics of your rabbit, maybe you would like to adopt this one. Bristol is not a million miles away from where I live in Neath and I would be willing to deliver it to you.

6:07PM PDT on Jun 3, 2011

Ban all caged animals. For most kids the novelty wears off in a matter of weeks, and the poor animal trapped in a box is left with a miserable, pathetic existence until death releases it. Some kids care for their animals in the right way, but for every 1 of these cases, there are tens of thousands who just don't bother with their animal. Also does anyone ever give a thought to these creatures who never get to socialise with it's own kind? Sorry kids, it's just not good enough to go about your day enjoying yourselves, and then to look at your animal once in a while. So unfortunately for the caring owners, I think nobody should be allowed to jail these beautiful animals.

1:10PM PDT on May 29, 2011

Everyone coming to buy a rabbit ought to be told from the start what consititues good care before they buy the animal, Many people purchase animals on impulse or at the pleas of their children without having any idea what the animals needs are.

10:14AM PDT on May 26, 2011

why is it difficult for people to educate themselves about how to care for their pets ...

10:12AM PDT on May 26, 2011

(¬_¬)

9:43PM PDT on May 25, 2011

Are people so lazy that they can't pick up a book and educate themselves about the pet they have selected?
I do believe it is people who are far more ignorant than they give themselves credit, while underestimating the intellect of other species. Animals should not have to tolerate this crap from a species that thinks it has its act together.
Will this nonsense ever find a conclusion?

7:20PM PDT on May 25, 2011

I don't believe in having any pet that has to be kept in a cage. This is not teaching children correct values - just the belief that humans are entitled to do literally whatever they like to non-human animals and it is perfectly okay.

10:19AM PDT on May 25, 2011

HOW SAD TO SEE THESE SMALL BOXES OUTSIDE PET SHOPS CALLED RABBIT HUTCHES SMALL BOXES TO PUT A POOR RABBIT INTO SOLITRY CONFINMENT UNTIL IT DIES LEFT IN FILTH FORGOTTEN ABOUT NOT LET OUT AND NO ONE KNOWS BECAUSE THEY ARE SILENT THEY DONT CRY THEY DONT BARK.

9:27PM PDT on May 24, 2011

Don't get a pet if you won't/can't really take care of him/her.

7:27PM PDT on May 24, 2011

sad

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Kristina Chew Kristina Chew teaches ancient Greek, Latin and Classics at Saint Peter's University in New Jersey.... more
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