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..."