The RSPCA is highlighting the neglect faced by rabbits Across England and Wales. The charity is facing an ‘overwhelming’ influx of rabbits and a reduction in people coming forward to offer them new homes.
In 2020 in Wales – despite the country being in lockdown, there were 135 incidents relating to domesticated rabbits reported to the charity; this rose to 194 in 2021.
At RSPCA Newport Animal Center, Alba and Ferdinand, who all came into RSPCA care via the RSPCA inspectorate as their welfare needs were not being met, are looking for their forever homes.
RSPCA Cymru is also continuing to respond to rabbit incidents. It was just a few weeks ago when four rabbits were abandoned at a lay-by near Llechwen Hall Hotel, Cilfynydd, near Pontypridd. The four rabbits – who are all male – were taken into RSPCA care, with the injured rabbit receiving veterinary treatment.
RSPCA rabbit welfare expert Dr Jane Tyson said that rabbits are “one of the most neglected pets in Britain.”
She added: “We really need to end the misconception that they are ideal ‘starter’ pets and are somehow ‘easier’ than cats and dogs. They need so much more than just a hutch at the end of the garden and are very complex animals with needs for company, stimulation and exercise.
“They also have long life spans of around 8-12 years so are a big commitment for a family.
“When rabbits are bought on impulse – maybe as an Easter gift – an owner may not realize how complex they are to care for and what a commitment caring for rabbits can be.
“For anyone who has done their research and is certain they can provide the time, space, money and care it takes to look after a pair of rabbits then please consider adopting two of the many rescue rabbits in need of a home instead of buying them . ”
More information about keeping rabbits as pets can be found on the RSPCA website here
In 2020 there were eight incidents involving rabbits in Torfaen reported to the RSPCA and this rose to 17 in 2021.
To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in need of care please visit their website or call our donation line on 0300 123 8181.