Sales of rabbits on hold at pet retailer
With Easter just around the corner, some of us may be considering giving an alternative gift to the usual chocolate eggs.
However, although a twist on the traditional can be a nice idea, ethical pet retailer Pets Corner is urging those who are looking to invest in a pet rabbit to think very carefully before making such a serious commitment.
Head of Training at Pets Corner Lucy Ross is responsible for the company’s renowned staff classroom training programme and has a wealth of experience in animal husbandry and pet behaviour.
She said: “Every year in the UK around 35,000 rabbits are handed in to rescue centres simply because people are not aware of the commitment they are making, or the care a rabbit needs to keep it happy and healthy.
“This is why during the Easter period we run our ‘Bunnies aren’t for Easter’ campaign and stop all sales of rabbits to deter impulse or spontaneous purchases.”
According to the charity the Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund, despite being the third most popular pet in Britain, rabbits are still one of the most neglected.
Lucy continues: “Rabbits need plenty of space to roam, such as a spacious and secure run, so they can get the necessary exercise - a hutch is simply not enough. Many people underestimate this essential requirement as they see rabbits as small animals and therefore think that they need less space.
“Rabbits are also sociable creatures and like fellow bunny company so they should be housed together rather than alone otherwise there is a real danger they will become lonely and depressed. This means you will be making double the commitment to care for two animals so you should not only consider space but also the financial investment involved.
"For example, neutering can cost anything from £45 upwards and, of course, there is food and bedding on top. As rabbits have a life expectancy of up to 15 years owning one is a long-term commitment and should be considered very carefully.”
To find out more about the work Pets Corner is doing to improve animal welfare, visit www.petscorner.co.uk/difference