Pets Corner donates £6,000 to improve rabbit welfare
Pets Corner has donated £6,000 to the charity the Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund to help combat the unlicensed and unregulated selling of rabbits online.
Rabbits are one of the most neglected pets in the UK and the Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund is working to improve the lives of domestic rabbits through education and communication.
The donation from Pets Corner has gone towards employing a part time member of staff to oversee the charity’s latest initiative ‘The Capone Campaign’, which aims to identify unlicensed pet traders and report them to local authorities, the HMRC and DEFRA for further investigation.
Rae Todd at the Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund commented: “Unlicensed and unregulated online pet shops are illegal and present huge concerns for rabbit welfare. Rabbits being sold by these traders are often housed in poor conditions and will not be receiving the level of care and attention required to ensure they remain happy and healthy. Buyers will not be screened nor be given essential advice relating to the rabbit’s handling, diet or wellbeing, which means rabbits may end up in the wrong hands and face neglect. There is also the added problem of a ‘hidden economy’ amongst illegal traders - undeclared income and tax avoidance is rife.
“Our mission is to identify and monitor any rabbit traders we believe to be illegal so that we can report them to local authorities and the HMRC, and then compile a report to present to DEFRA so that that we can highlight which areas need further action to ensure rabbits are no longer suffering as a consequence of these illegal practices.”
Georgia McCormick has been appointed to take on the campaign. She joins the charity following six years working in the animal welfare sector.
She said: “In this modern age, the online selling of pets needs to be regulated in order to safeguard the welfare of animals - people need to understand that animals should not be exploited in order to just make a profit. I believe this campaign can make a real difference by making Local Authorities aware of the problems that unlicensed sellers cause as well as detecting poor welfare standards. By managing this campaign I aim to create an increased awareness to the problems that are going undetected on the internet and use those results to help achieve safer, healthier and happier lives for rabbits.”
Dean Richmond, Managing Director at Pets Corner, commented: “We are delighted to be working with the Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund to help stamp out the illegal and unregulated trading of rabbits.
“At Pets Corner we take our responsibility for animal welfare very seriously and spend a great deal of time ensuring all of our staff are classroom trained so that they are able to offer the right information and advice for rabbit owners and rabbits can benefit from the care and attention they deserve.
“We are committed to supporting the Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund so that the lives of rabbits across the UK can be greatly improved.”
Rae added: “We would urge anyone planning to buy a rabbit to avoid doing it online and visit a rescue centre instead.”