Warning after rise in number of neglected rabbits

Recent figures released by the RSPCA confirm that during the 2020 lockdown,135 incidents relating to domesticated rabbits were investigated but last year the number rose to 194.

The number of rabbits who need re-homing is growing week on week while the number of people coming forward to offer them new homes has dropped by 40 per cent.

“We really need to end the misconception that rabbits are ideal ‘starter’ pets and are somehow ‘easier’ to look after than cats and dogs,” said RSPCA animal welfare expert Dr Jane Tyson.  “Sadly, they’ve become one of the most neglected pets in Britain.  They need so much more than just a hutch at the end of the garden; they are very complex animals who need company, stimulation and exercise. “

Rabbits have long life spans of around eight to 12 years which means they are a big commitment for the families who take them on.

“When rabbits are bought on impulse - maybe as an Easter gift - an owner may not realise how complex they are to care for and what a commitment caring for rabbits can be,” added Dr Tyson.

“For anyone who has done their research and is certain they can provide the time, space, money and care that 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.”