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Rabbits are the most neglected animal in the north

Rabbits are the most neglected animal in the north

7:39am 27th October 2010

RSPCA Needs You To Rabbit On!

Charity launches its biggest ever rabbit survey


Rabbit owners throughout the North of England are being asked to share their stories about their bunnies and what makes them bounce.


The animal welfare charity is launching its biggest ever rabbit survey and wants you to get involved.


The Great Big Rabbit Survey is asking you to rave about your rabbit and show your support for the charity’s campaign to improve pet rabbit welfare.


The results of the survey will help the RSPCA to understand why people choose rabbits as their pets and why they love them.


The RSPCA will also be using new scientific studies about how rabbits are kept in the UK to develop relevant and up-to-date advice on rabbit care. The Society hopes this will raise awareness and increase understanding of what rabbits need to be happy and healthy.


RSPCA campaign manager Eloise Shavelar said: “Rabbits are our third most popular pet with around one million rabbits currently being kept in the UK1.


“Rabbit welfare is a top priority for the RSPCA. We’re at the start of a journey to improve companion rabbit welfare so we’re asking rabbit lovers to join us and tell us what makes bunnies brilliant."


The RSPCA is concerned that the needs of rabbits are often poorly understood which could be having a negative impact on rabbit welfare.


Sadly, thousands of rabbits end up in RSPCA rescue centres every year for a variety of reasons.


The charity hopes that by increasing awareness and understanding of rabbits’ welfare needs, it will see a long-term reduction in the number of rabbits coming through its doors at rescue centres.


It also wants to educate potential new owners so they are fully aware of the commitment they are making before bringing a new pet home.


Over 33,000² rabbits have come into RSPCA animal centres in England and Wales since the beginning of 2007, 10,460 of which came into RSPCA animal centres in the North of England.


Of that number 7,195 rabbits were collected, rescued or seized by RSPCA inspectors in the North of England, 2,405 rabbits were reported abandoned and a further 860 rabbits were signed over to the RSPCA by owners who could no longer look after them.


During the same period, the charity has rehomed thousands of rabbits but space at its branches and rehoming centres continues to be in high demand.


The survey will be available to complete online at www.greatbigrabbitsurvey.org until the end of the year.


Everyone who takes part in the survey will be able to download an exclusive RSPCA screensaver and be entered into a competition to win rabbit goodies including toys, grooming tools and a supply of bedding and food.

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