Rabbit Awareness Week

Rabbits Rabbit Awareness Week runs from 23rd to 29th May 2011 and the PDSA (one of the supporters of the awareness week) recently published PDSA Animal Wellbeing Report 2011, taking a look at the animal welfare needs (environment, diet, behaviour, companionship and health) for cats, dogs and rabbits.

Focussing on cats, dogs and rabbits because they are the most popular companion pets in the UK, the report was produced because there is currently no overarching means of identifying, assessing, monitoring and improving the wellbeing of companion animals.

5,317 cat, 4,675 dog and 1,132 rabbit owners aged 18+ were surveyed online for the report (by YouGov) between 21st September and 16th November 2010 (the figures were weighted to be representative of cat, dog and rabbit owners). In addition, there was an online survey, between 22nd October and 16th December 2010, of 137 vets and veterinary nurses (the figures were not weighted).

Under the headline PDSA Supports Rabbit Awareness Week, the PDSA reported that rabbits are the UK’s most neglected pets and:

  1. Environment – over 150,000 rabbits are living in cramped conditions, in hutches that are too small, leaving them unable to exercise.
  2. Diet – 750,000 rabbits are not getting the recommended daily amount of hay or grass which is essential for their digestive and dental health.
  3. Companionship – rabbits are highly social animals yet over 1.1 million live alone without a suitable companion.
  4. Behaviour – over 1 million rabbits lack mental stimulation leaving them susceptible to boredom and frustration.
  5. Heath – preventive healthcare in rabbits is often neglected with 63% of rabbits not being neutered and 54% never having been vaccinated.

The Rabbit Awareness Week web site includes details of events, welfare needs and much more so please visit the site.  Thank you.

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