Friday, 8 July 2011

Help BunnyHugga Say NO to battery farmed meat in pet food

Say NO to battery farmed meat in pet food - Full details

These days a growing number of people are very conscious of the meat they are eating and the farming methods used to produce it.  We deliberately choose free range or at least humanely farmed meat.  But do we think about the meat in our dog and cat food?  Probably not.  The truth is that the huge majority of pet food brands contain battery or inhumanely farmed meat.

Our aims are:
1. To raise public awareness and encourage pet food companies to switch to humanely farmed or free range meat products

2. To promote the brands which do not contain battery or inhumanely farmed meat.  These are:-
Almo Nature
Arden Grange
Bern Pet Foods
James Wellbeloved
John Burns
Royal Canin

Whilst our main concern is rabbit welfare, it is impossible to run this campaign without including all animals used in pet food.  There are brands which include no rabbit meat but do include battery farmed chicken; therefore, unfortunately we are unable to promote these companies until they change their policies.

Please take a moment to sign our petition; this takes the form of an open letter which will be sent to all the pet food manufacturers not listed above, asking them to consider changing their policies on the source of their meat products.
If you are an organisation and would like to lend your support to this campaign, please email us at

Monday, 27 June 2011

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Help Four Paws to stop battery farming (rabbits)

The Four Paws organisation have been campaining to stop the battery/intensive farming of rabbits in the UK, after succesfully exposing the state of some rabbit farms here.
There is an 'Early Day Motion' debate taking place in Westmister about this very subject soon.

If enough MP's signatures are gathered, MP's have more chance of persuading the Govt. to take this further.

Four Paws  is asking the concerned members of the public to e-mail their MP to request that they support the motion.

Details of how to do this (and see if your MP is already signed up, or not) are available at the Four Paws website

Hopping Mad co-authored a paper with Dr Anne McBride on farming rabbits for their summer edition, which covers many aspects of this debate in terms of welfare and resources. Please consider including this link, to provide your MP with more informed information on which to make a decision: have conducted a petition which has raised nearly 10,000 signatures to date. Please include this web link in your e-mail, which demonstrates the level of public concern: there is debate about the petition and campaign on the Facebook site:


Friday, 17 June 2011

Important announcement re: Hopping Mad bunny magazine.

It has been brought to our attention that the web host for ‘Hopping Mad’ has a couple of problems regarding security and linking. Users of Norton Anti-Virus software have reported to us that they are being warned about entering the site. The warning is clear that the issue lies not with ‘Hopping Mad!’, but with another site on the same server, and as such posed no risk. However, we recognise that readers rightly felt they did not want to enter the site. The report was exclusive to users of Norton, and we have not had reports of any further problems. The site, we suspect because of this, was unable to be linked through to Facebook.

Naturally this is both a great concern and disappointment to us – a lot of time goes into producing the e-zine, and experts and contributors give their time freely. ‘Hopping Mad!’ is produced with absolutely no funding, and yesterday a reader very kindly donated the e-zine both secure web space and a domain address. We are very grateful, and would request that readers now use the URL

Our new e-mail is

We’d also be grateful if those that have included our link in articles, etc. could replace it, and that readers now share the e-zine on Facebook etc.




Monday, 13 June 2011

Hopping Mad! Summer edition out now

Hopping Mad! Bunny Magazine publishes their summer issue! - Click HERE!

Tons of features, articles expert health questions, art, film reviews, interviews and much, much more - It's free and on Line!

Friday, 27 May 2011

Terence Blacker: Standing up for rabbits' rights

The Independent, 27 May 2011

"You might be slightly hazy as to Rabbit Awareness Week's specific aims. Rabbits are, apparently, the third most-popular pet in Britain – there are about two million in cages and hutches across the country. Around three out of four, the RSPCA reports, are seriously maltreated. Pet shops sell them as commodities. They are given to children, often with less thought than the acquisition of a computer game. They are subsequently underfed or misfed, kept in cramped, disgusting conditions. Vets report than no pets are so casually ignored and mistreated. The RSPCA has rescued 33,000 of the luckless creatures over the past three years."

Following recent radio interviews where BBC presenters have thought it funny to suggest pet rabbits are devoured,  this come as a pleasant surprise....

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Giant rabbits from The Blue Cross help care home residents

24 May 2011 Three giant rabbits from The Blue Cross are helping people with dementia after being adopted by staff at a care home. 
Blue Cross

Peach, Pear and Plum are looked after by residents at Enstone House and staff say caring for the pets has improved their mental well-being and happiness.

Recent research has suggested that, as well as bringing emotional and physical benefits to owners, pets could also have a positive impact on the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

Caroline Dyett, manager of the care home in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, says: “It helps the residents, it gives them something to nurture and get involved with and it is definitely a talking point.”

RWAF video - A hutch is not enough

An excellent film by the RWAF, with music especially recroded by Maria Danes to promote their campaign ' A hutch is not enough' - which now features a film by Happy Hopper's Stewie Bunster and Anne McBride.

"Rabbits are not designed to live in a confined space. In the wild they cover an area equivalent to 30 football pitches. They're not designed to live alone either - wild rabbits live in large social groups, foraging, grooming each other and huddling together for warmth. Rabbits living alone experience high levels of stress.

Domestic rabbits are not fundamentally far removed from their wild cousins. They share the same need to run, jump, explore and share companionship with their own kind, so their accommodation must allow them to display these natural behaviours.

The RWAF recommends a minimum hutch size of 6' x 2' x 2', which allows rabbits some room to move, stand on their hind legs and enough space for the food, toilet and sleeping areas to be kept apart. It is commonly accepted that a rabbit should have space for 3 hops, but it is commonly underestimated just how far 3 hops is - our tests show that 3 hops from an average sized rabbit covers 6-7 feet!

A hutch should only be a shelter and not the only living space. It should be attached to a secure run of at least 8' x 4'."


Rabbit ripper shocks Germany

There used to be a rabbit hutch, too, at the end of the garden. But not any more. "One morning, when I came out to feed my rabbits, I was surprised to see that the hutch door was open," recalls Elfriede.
BBC News channel

Deadly discovery
It is one of the most shocking cases of animal cruelty that Germans can remember. "I would never expect something to happen here," says Elfriede's granddaughter, Sabrina.  "This place is so quiet. You can leave your car open and everything's fine. Yet there are people who murder rabbits!"  Sabrina tells me about another incident. She says dead rabbits were discovered in the sandpit of a local school.  "The rabbits were there without any heads and the children found them in the morning while playing in the playground. That's even more horrible than finding them in your own garden." 

Down at the police station, officer Volker Schuette shows me disturbing photographs of headless pet rabbits. A gruesome pattern is emerging.

Bristol couple tagged after starving two pet rabbits to death

A COUPLE have been tagged and banned by a court from leaving their house after 8pm each night after their two pet rabbits starved to death.
Bristol Evening Post
James and Patricia Gallagher, of Rudgleigh Avenue in Pill, were prosecuted by the RSPCA after one of the charity's inspectors discovered the dead animals, along with a third rabbit which had managed to survive.

They were being kept in filthy hutches in the couple's back garden, which had no food or water in them.

Mr Gallagher, 28, and Mrs Gallagher, 32, pleaded guilty to three charges of animal neglect each – admitting that they failed to provide the animals with a suitable diet, suitable environment to live in, and did not protect them from pain, injury, suffering or disease.

Because the RSPCA inspector found they had cared well for their pet cat and dog, they were not banned completely from keeping pets in the future, but were told they could not have any more rabbits.

They were ordered to pay £260 towards costs and each given a 16-week tagged curfew between 8pm and 6am.


Monday, 23 May 2011

It's Rabbit Awareness Week!

From the 23-29th May, there's all sorts of veterinary and welfare events taking place across the UK to promote better health, care and welfare of companion rabbits!

Stewie Bunsta supports Rabbit Awareness week!


The RAW website gives you lots of info, is a really good resource, and you can search for events near you.

The RWAF campaign ' A hutch is not enough' details are here and supported by a Hopping Mad! Article here

The RSPCA have made this cool video to support RAW - You Tube link here

Good luck to everyone involved! 

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Pet rabbits are cruelly neglected and mistreated in Britain, survey finds

Study suggests 75% of two million pet rabbits are badly cared for and commonly misunderstood by families who look after them. Guardian newspaper, UK

"From Brer Rabbit to Peter, the enduring appeal of the rabbit has led to it becoming one of Britain's favourite pets – only beaten into third place by dogs and cats.

But new evidence suggests they are also one of the most cruelly neglected and misunderstood. There are up to two million rabbits being kept and bred in the backyards and gardens of the UK. However, according to a new survey, up to three quarters of them are being badly treated. Not only are they being kept in woefully cramped conditions, a situation for which the pet industry bears a heavy responsibilty; they are also becoming sick through being fed the wrong food.

A majority of the rabbit owners asked did not know what the correct diet for their pet was, and almost half didn't know that rabbits needed space in which to exercise.

Animal campaigners are so concerned by the situation that this week has been designated a rabbit awareness week."

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Bunny Rescue TN, USA

35 Rabbits rescues from appalling conditions -  Dickson, TN, USA

A horrible breeder decides he’s tired of the bunny business and dumps 7 pregnant females, 5 adult males and 16 babies ranging in age from 4 weeks to 8 weeks. We need kind souls willing to foster a single bunny (we will lend you a pen and supplies!) or help with vetting all these rabbits.

If you can chip in to help, please email a donation through PayPal to

or you can call in any amount to McKay’s Mill Animal Hospital at (615)599-3783.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Rabbit thief is jailed

Reported in the Peeblesshire news, 13 May 2011 - Full story

A drunken youth who stole a pet bunny from a children's nursery during a rabbit shooting expedition has been jailed.

Stephen McLeod left youngsters in tears and most of Peebles outraged after Crunchie disappeared - and has never been found.

The 19-year-old's partner in crime Craig Robertson, 20, was given 18 months probation.

The pair were armed with an air rifle on October 13 when they smashed up the rabbit hutch at Kingsmeadows Children's Nursery.

McLeod was jailed for a total of seven months at Selkirk Sheriff Court this week after admitting stealing the rabbit.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Hopping Mad videos feature in Rabbit Awareness Week campaign

Have you checked the Rabbit Awareness Week site yet? It's a fantastic resource for lots of quality bunny info.
We're delighted that two of our videos have been included as supporting films to the articles on Enrichment and Environment, and thank the RAW people for providing such a comprehensive website.

Have a look on the 'Event Locator' and see what events are happening in your area.

Happy Hopping ^.^ 

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Many Pet Rabbits Worse Off Than Battery Rabbits

Press release  RWAF website May 03, 2011

"British public has reacted with distaste to a recent spate of planning applications for battery rabbit meat farms*, where the animals are kept in tiny cages before being slaughtered for meat, but The Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund (RWAF - ) points out that thousands of domestic pet rabbits are kept in conditions that are as bad or even worse, than those proposed by the battery farms..." 

Monday, 18 April 2011

The reality of Easter bunnies

Produced on You Tube by FaSHOGEE

"Every year, around Easter time, ignorant parents buy baby bunnies for their children from a pet store / breeder. Many are dumped within a year at parks, schools, neighborhood, etc. "thinking" that they are better off being "dumped" at those locations, rather than at a shelter. However, that is untrue. Numerous bunnies become food for raccoons and hawks, some starve to death due to lack of food. So this Easter, if you REALLY want a rabbit, PLEASE GO TO A LOCAL SHELTER!!!! In the long run, adopting a shelter bunny is cheaper than buying a rabbit. :)"

Sunday, 17 April 2011

BUAV The Ugly Truth - Uncovered

*The following link contains distressing information, images and video footage* 

A major BUAV undercover investigation exposes the reality of life and death inside one UK laboratory

The story is followed up in the Sunday Mirror  17/4/11

"In November 2010, the UK Home Office released a report on Wickham Laboratories, Hampshire, which substantiated many of the findings of the BUAV's 2009 undercover investigation, The Ugly Truth.The BUAV's investigator worked undercover for eight months at Wickham Laboratories and secretly filmed the treatment of animals inside the facility.

Following our revelations, the Home Office report found breaches to the animal testing licenses issued to the company and infringement proceedings are being considered against it.

The report's key findings include:
  • Mice routinely died in cruel poisoning tests rather than being “humanely” killed by staff – a clear breach in the institution’s Government project license;
  • Staff incompetence in the way mice were killed led to their suffering – including the practice of neck breaking with a pen on the corridor floor; 
  •  Key staff did not carry out their legal responsibilities under the Animals Scientific Procedures Act, including the Named Veterinary Surgeon not ensuring rabbit welfare; 
  • Staff training in the monitoring and killing of animals was poor;
  • There was a lack of enforcement of available non-animal alternatives."

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

UK -The Make Mine Chocolate! Rabbit Sale Easter Amnesty

The MMC Easter Amnesty

"The Sad Fact ...

In the weeks and months after Easter, already overcrowded rescue shelters are inundated with calls from owners wishing to offload their rabbit because the child has lost interest, and the reality of cleaning, feeding and expensive vet trips is too much.

Those that don’t make it to rescue are doomed to a life of solitary confinement in a small hutch at the end of the garden, or even dumped and left to fend for themselves - usually ending in tragedy.

The impulse buying of rabbits during the Easter period has long been reported by rescues; they have to pick up the pieces in the weeks and months afterwards.

A UK-wide survey carried out by Make Mine Chocolate! during 2009-10 confirms that a large number of owners do not consider the long term commitment before getting their rabbit; in the region of 60% of rabbits entering rescue do so within the first year of ownership. Of these, 40% have been owned for less than 6 months.

 Sadly the impulse issue is not limited to Easter. Christmas, Valentines Day, films and other media/calendar events (including the Chinese New Year of the rabbit in 2011) are also likely to increase the impulse purchase problem."

House rabbit Society - Easter and Rabbits

Full article
"Contrary to Easter-time hype, rabbits and small children aren't a good match. The exuberance of even the gentlest toddler is stressful for the sensitive rabbit.

Children like a companion they can hold, and cuddle. That's why stuffed animals are so popular. Rabbits are not passive and cuddly. They are ground-loving creatures who feel frightened and insecure when held and restrained. The result of a short-sighted purchase of an Easter rabbit: the child loses interest, and the rabbit ends up neglected or abandoned."

Saturday, 9 April 2011

RWAF new article on Rabbit Digestion by Anna Meredith

The Rabbit digestive system - A delicate balance

By vet Anna Meredith,Head of Exotic Animal and Wildlife Service at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

USA - HRS & Rescue Chocolate unite for Easter campaign

Bunnies-Make Mine Chocolate! 

"Every year, rabbits are purchased as Easter gifts, and huge numbers are then surrendered to animal shelters when the rabbits get older and the excitement of Easter wears off. To break the cycle of purchase and abandonment, Rescue Chocolate has partnered with House Rabbit Society to promote “Make Mine Chocolate,” a campaign that encourages the purchase of chocolate bunnies for Easter rather than live rabbits. For more information about rabbits and how you can help, visit the House Rabbit Society website and the Make Mine Chocolate campaign."

RSPCA UK - Help needed for silent sufferers of domestic abuse

Pet fosterers urgently needed as demand surges

"Hundreds of families desperately need their pets to be fostered so that they can escape domestic violence.

Many people feel trapped in their situation because moving into temporary accommodation often means they have to leave their animals behind.

This is where our pet fostering service, PetRetreat, comes in. Through its network of fosterers, the service looks after cats and dogs belonging to victims of domestic abuse until such a time as they can be reunited."

Monday, 4 April 2011

Hopping Mad bunny magazine - Free and On-line

Bunny folk! Hope you enjoy our new free publication 'Hopping Mad!

Glasgow UK - New Rescue Service Struggles With Demand

Posted on Happy Hoppers forum
Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care, based near Glasgow in Scotland, started in December 2010 as a result of a desire to be doing more about rabbit welfare and the number of poorly treated rabbits in our area who had become abandoned or unwanted. Our initial attempts earlier in 2010 to start a full rescue centre had been denied by our landlord, and so not being ones to be deterred by mere practicalities we set to setting up a similar service utilising a network of foster carers and volunteers.

However, we have very quickly become to realise that there is a larger demand for services than there is capacity to manage, and our intention of starting off slow and small, gradually building doesn't fit with expectation within the area.

You can find out more about our sudden increase in demand on our blog.