The RSPCA is launching its biggest ever rabbit survey and wants rabbit owners throughout England and Wales to share their stories about their bunnies and what makes them bounce. The Great Big Rabbit Survey will be available to complete online until the end of the year.
The RSPCA is launching its biggest ever rabbit survey and wants rabbit owners throughout England and Wales to share their stories about their bunnies and what makes them bounce.
Results of the Great Big Rabbit Survey will help the RSPCA to understand why people choose rabbits as their pets and why they love them.
The RSPCA will also be using new scientific studies about how rabbits are kept in the UK to develop relevant and up-to-date advice on rabbit care. The society hopes this will raise awareness and increase understanding of what rabbits need to be happy and healthy.
RSPCA campaign manager Eloise Shavelar said: “Rabbits are our third most popular pet with around one million rabbits currently being kept in the UK.
“Rabbit welfare is a top priority for the RSPCA. We’re at the start of a journey to improve companion rabbit welfare so we’re asking rabbit lovers to join us and tell us what makes bunnies brilliant.”
The RSPCA is concerned that the needs of rabbits are often poorly understood, which could be having a negative impact on rabbit welfare.
Sadly, thousands of rabbits end up in RSPCA rescue centres every year for a variety of reasons. Since the beginning of 2007:
- More than 33,000 rabbits have come into RSPCA animal centres;
- An average of 25 rabbits are collected, rescued or seized by RSPCA inspectors every day;
- More than 8,000 rabbits have been reported abandoned to the charity.
- 3,300 rabbits have been signed over by owners who can no longer look after them.
During the same period, the charity has rehomed thousands of rabbits but space at its branches and rehoming centres continues to be in high demand.
The charity hopes that by increasing awareness and understanding of rabbits’ welfare needs, it will see a long-term reduction in the number of rabbits coming through its doors at rescue centres. It also wants to educate potential new owners so they are fully aware of the commitment they are making before bringing a new pet home.
The survey will be available to complete online at www.greatbigrabbitsurvey.org until the end of the year.
Everyone who takes part in the survey will be able to download an exclusive RSPCA screensaver and be entered into a competition to win rabbit goodies including toys, grooming tools and a supply of bedding and food.