We’ve been busy bunnies!

We have had a very busy few weeks. Easter is always a busy time for media and we have done three interviews for BBC radio, including BBC Radio 4,  as well as having articles published in several magazines including the Mail on Sunday.

On Wednesday we worked with our friends from Burgess on the set of This Morning (thank you to Runaround for providing the binky box and tunnels) and it was a really great piece promoting rescue rabbits. We were behind the camera making sure the right message was given to the millions of viewers.

From there we went straight to Birmingham to the CEVA awards where we celebrated Richard Saunders being recognised as a Welfare Hero for the huge amount of work involved in getting the VHD2 vaccine in to the UK.

We then spent 2 days with Burgess at the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) talking to Vet Professionals and launching Rabbit Awareness Week. It’s great to work with other such dedicated people.

Just a few of the things we have been up to!

Is Peter Rabbit For Me?

Peter Rabbit The Movie

The long anticipated Peter Rabbit movie will be released in the UK on 16th March. A much loved, long-standing fictional character, yes, but the release of this film will undoubtedly increase the number of children who see the film to want their very own Peter Rabbit. Sadly, many parents will give in to ‘pester power’.

This social media campaign which the Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund are about to launch to coincide with the opening of the movie in the UK, is a factual insight into what having rabbits as pets is all about. There is certainly more to rabbits than cute twitching noses and fluffy tails. This campaign has been designed to make adults who are considering getting a ‘Peter Rabbit’ for their child to think of the practicalities before taking the plunge

Please, please join us in spreading the message by sharing the 10 rabbit facts as far and wide as you can. Thanks.

If you know of anyone who is thinking of buying pet rabbits, please share.

Fact #1 300 poos a day!

Yes, okay, Peter Rabbit is uber-cute and you’ve seen the film and fallen in love. BUT, did you know that the average ‘output’ from a single bunny in a given day is 300 poos? We kid you not. That’s quite a lot of clearing up isn’t it?! Rabbits are pretty good at learning how to use a litter tray, but it does require a bit of patience and a lot of time to teach them. Have you got that time and patience? You can expect to have a thorough clean out at least once a week, but there will undoubtedly be some daily housekeeping duties to attend to in order to ensure that your rabbits living quarters remain clean and disease free.

Thinking that your child will take on this responsibility? Not in our experience. Children lose interest in pet rabbits really, really quickly, leaving Mum or Dad on poo duty!

#whatgoesinmustcomeout

Still want rabbits…?

If you know of anyone who is thinking of buying pet rabbits, please share.

More advice at: http://www.rwaf.org.uk/lflts
More about the Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund: http://www.rwaf.org.uk/website

Fact #2 Having you own Peter Rabbit can mean very expensive vet bills…

So you’ve seen the Peter Rabbit movie and have decided you just have to have your very own Peter Rabbit. Rabbits are cheap pets right? You are *joking*! On average, a pet rabbit will cost the owners over £5,000 during their lifetime. Rabbits will need to be neutered and have regular trips to the vets for vaccination against Myxomatosis and Viral Haemorrhagic Disease. If you are planning on getting rabbits as pets, you are most definitely recommended to get pet health insurance. This can cost upwards of £60 per year, per rabbit.

Even so, rabbits often have dental problems, which are rarely covered by insurance. If your rabbits are affected (and they are very likely to be, unless you feed them a grass/hay-based diet!) then the cost of essential regular dental treatment can quickly add up to hundreds of pounds each year.

Still want rabbits…?

If you know of anyone who is thinking of buying pet rabbits, please share.

More advice at: http://www.rwaf.org.uk/lflts
More about the Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund: http://www.rwaf.org.uk/website

Fact #3 Peter rabbit cannot live in solitary confinement, that would be cruel.

Even in the story, Peter lived with Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail and his mother. Did you know that rabbits are actually very social creatures. Wild rabbits live in colonies, never on their own. Rabbits should be kept in neutered pairs or compatible groups.

Recent scientific research has confirmed that rabbits suffer from stress and loneliness if kept alone: they value companionship as much as food – and you wouldn’t keep them without food, would you?

So if you are seriously thinking of getting a rabbit, better make that rabbits as it would be cruel to keep one on its own.

And remember the 300 poos per day, that’ll increase to 600 when you get a friend for your rabbit. Not to mention the vet bills covered in fact #2.

Still want rabbits…?

If you know of anyone who is thinking of buying pet rabbits, please share.

More advice at: http://www.rwaf.org.uk/lflts
More about the Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund: http://www.rwaf.org.uk/website

Fact #4 Rabbits: a hutch is not enough

In the original tale, Peter lived with Flopsy, Mopsy Cotton-tail and his mother underneath the root of a fir tree. The reality is that Peter Rabbit and his friends in the real world need much more consideration for their living quarters.

Did you know it was the Victorians who first kept rabbits in hutches – a short term storage solution before the animals went to the pot?

We’ve moved on a great deal since then, but the habit of keeping rabbits in hutches has stuck.

Rabbits are not designed to live in a confined space. In the wild they roam over an area equivalent to 6 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 Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund recommends a minimum area of 10 x 6 (3m x 2m) which includes a shelter of minimum 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 6′. This gives an overall area of 10 x 6 (3 x 2)

Please bear in mind that these recommendations are all minimums – and like many things in life, bigger is better!
Rabbits also need stimulation, and companionship
Still want rabbits…?

If you know of anyone who is thinking of buying pet rabbits, please share.

More advice at: http://www.rwaf.org.uk/lflts
More about the Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund: http://www.rwaf.org.uk/website

Fact #5 Peter Rabbit and his friends HATE cuddles

It’s a great myth that rabbits are cute and cuddly. Take it from us, they are not!

Although Peter Rabbit and his friends may look cute and cuddly, rabbits are ground loving creatures who are easily scared if they are swooped off the ground. This fear can quite easily turn to aggression and it is not uncommon for a frightened rabbit to scratch or even bite an owner in their bid for freedom. This is particularly worrying if you are intending to get rabbits as pets for a child. Children naturally want to pet cute furry animals and pick them up, but rabbits simply HATE it. If your child is looking for something soft and cuddly to pick up, then buy a fluffy toy, rabbits are not for them! Try this: http://amzn.to/2ECIPBK

Still want rabbits…?

If you know of anyone who is thinking of buying pet rabbits, please share.

More advice at: http://www.rwaf.org.uk/lflts
More about the Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund: http://www.rwaf.org.uk/website

Fact #6 Kids lose interest in pet rabbits

If you and your child have seen the Peter Rabbit movie, no doubt you’ve fallen in love and think what a great idea it would be to have one as a pet.

Even before the film we’ve heard it *so* many times; “my daughter/son desperately wanted rabbits, they said they would look after them, we thought they would be easy to look after, but now my son/daughter has lost interest so we want to rehome the rabbits…”

Yep, no doubt about it, kids lose interest and very often less than six months after buying the rabbits. It’s not a good result for the rabbits (did you know there are currently ~67,000 rabbits waiting to be rehomed in the UK) and not a good result for the parent (what about all the money you spent on the hutch cage/food/vaccinations/neutering etc!).

Please, think long and hard before committing to buy rabbits for your child. Try a soft toy instead…

Still want rabbits…?

If you know of anyone who is thinking of buying pet rabbits, please share.

More advice at: http://www.rwaf.org.uk/lflts
More about the Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund: http://www.rwaf.org.uk/website

Fact #7 Rabbits cost more than you think: £11K!

£11K, for rabbits? We’re kidding, right? No, we’re afraid not!

Okay, so in the Tale of Peter Rabbit, it doesn’t seem as though rabbits cost much, apart from losing his little blue coat and shoes in Mr McGregor’s garden. The reality is different…

Although pet rabbits are usually inexpensive to buy, they should definitely not be seen as ‘cheap’ pets. Here’s why:

Building a safe, secure outdoor enclosed complex can cost several hundred pounds. Or, if you decide to keep your rabbits indoors, an indoor cage (remember that our minimum size of accommodation is the same as for outdoor rabbits) and essential equipment will not leave much change out of £300.

Your rabbits will need regular supplies of a good quality rabbit food, hay, and bedding.

Then there’s the vet bills and veterinary insurance covered in Fact #2…

We estimate that a pair of rabbits (and remember it cruel to keep just one rabbit) over their lifetime will cost around £11,000 – can you afford that?

Still want rabbits…?

If you know of anyone who is thinking of buying pet rabbits, please share.

More advice at: http://www.rwaf.org.uk/lflts
More about the Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund: http://www.rwaf.org.uk/website

Fact #8 Rabbits have complicated care needs

The Tale of Peter Rabbit is charming for sure and depicts a simple, idyllic lifestyle with Peter and his brothers and sisters being let out to play with hardly a care in the world. This is a long way from the reality of having rabbits as pets.

The days of a single rabbit in a hutch being given a dish of muesli should be long gone. Haven’t you heard A Hutch is Not Enough? We might have mentioned that once or twice! To be good rabbit owners you need to be able to provide all of this:
• A companion rabbit – rabbits need the companionship of one or more neutered rabbits. So if you are still planning on getting your own Peter Rabbit, make sure you get a Flopsy, Mopsy and/or Cotton-tail too.
• A hay based diet, with pellets and greens every day. Not lettuce though, this is soporific for rabbits and shouldn’t be fed. Without the right diet, rabbits can develop diseases and have problems with teeth.
• An area 3m x 2m (10 x 6ft) to live in all of the time, regardless of whether they are inside or outside. Yes, all of the time! This should have a shelter area, as well as a digging pit, a grazing area, a platform to look out from and room to rear up tall, run, jump and binky!
• Vaccinations every year, currently they need 2 different ones to protect them against both myxi and RVHD 1 & 2
• Cleaning out thoroughly every week and a spot clean every day. As well as a daily check for fly strike, especially in warm weather
• Taken to the vet at the first sign of change in eating habits or poo. Tomorrow is too late, if this means the emergency vet, then the emergency vet it is!
• A weekly health MOT
• An abundance of nose rubs

Still want rabbits…?

If you know of anyone who is thinking of buying pet rabbits, please share.

More advice at: http://www.rwaf.org.uk/lflts
More about the Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund: http://www.rwaf.org.uk/website

Fact #9 Rabbits can live forever

Okay, we’re exaggerating, but I bet you get a shock when you learn that it is not uncommon for rabbits to live for 10 years or more. Some rabbits have been known to live for 15 years!

Rabbits are often acquired for children (frequently following displays of “pester power”!) but it is essential to remember that the adult is always responsible for any pet… therefore at least one adult in the household must be prepared to commit sufficient time, energy and money to the rabbits for the next decade. Don’t forget, Peter, Flopsy, Mopsy and Cotton-tail may still be alive and kicking when your child heads off to College or University leaving you firmly with the responsibility! Rabbits are not cheap and easy children’s pets!

Still want rabbits…?

More advice at: http://www.rwaf.org.uk/lflts
More about the Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund: http://www.rwaf.org.uk/website

Fact #10 There are already 67K rabbits in rescue centres

Do you truly want to add to that statistic? You need to ask yourself why there are such a *huge* number of abandoned rabbits in rescue centres all over the UK. Well now, let’s recap:

#1 – a single rabbit can produce up to 300 poos per day. Wow, that’s a lot of clearing up!
#2 – expensive vet bills. Neutering, vaccination, inevitable dental work…
#3 – rabbits should be kept in pairs or groups, not singly (calculate the poos and vet bills!)
#4 – rabbits need huge hutches – have you go the space in your home or garden. Did you know a suitable hutch complex can cost several hundred pounds?
#5 – rabbits, despite their appearance do not like being picked up and cuddled and can get aggressive when they become frightened.
#6 – children get bored of pet rabbits. It’s fact. Don’t give in to ‘pester power’.
#7 – expect to pay out £11,000 for rabbits over their lifetime (see #2 And #4)
#8 – complicated care needs , a Hutch is simply *not enough*
#9 – rabbits can live for 10 years and over. Many people don’t factor this in.

Still want rabbits…?

We hope you enjoyed our 10 facts helping you to decide if you really want your own Peter Rabbit. If you know of anyone who is thinking of buying pet rabbits, please share.

More advice at: http://www.rwaf.org.uk/lflts
More about the Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund: http://www.rwaf.org.uk/website

 

 

Spring your rabbits this Easter


http://www.pressdispensary.co.uk/releases/c993368/Spring-your-rabbits-this-Easter-%E2%80%93-A-Hutch-is-Not-Enough.html

It’s easy to see why rabbits are the perfect symbol to celebrate spring, beautiful to look at and bursting with life. They are a common sight in our fields and verges; munching on grass, running, jumping and digging. And, according to a UK charity, these behaviours are what we should be looking for in our pet rabbits.

The Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund (RWAF) is the largest UK charity with the aim of improving the welfare of domestic rabbits. This Easter the charity is urging owners to spring their rabbits from the confines of the hutch, into a large secure exercise area of course!.

“What you see in the wild and what you see in the garden is very different,” said Richard Saunders, Vet expert advisor for the RWAF. “A lot of people keep a rabbit in a hutch, alone and with no space to exercise. This simply doesn’t let them act as they would naturally. Rabbits need to run and jump, and they’d never live alone in the wild.”

The charity is promoting its A Hutch is Not Enough campaign, which aims to educate rabbit owners and pet retailers on what rabbits need to lead full and contented lives. It stresses the importance of a large secure enclosure in which the rabbits can run and jump freely. “A Hutch should be a shelter as part of a bigger enclosure, never the sole accommodation,” said Richard. “People get much more pleasure from their pet rabbits when they make a bit of effort to give them the life they deserve. And if you’re thinking of getting a rabbit but can’t commit to meeting their needs fully then you should think again.

April’s rescue page – have you got room?

Our rescue page has been updated for April and features two rescues, Windwhistle Warren in Gloucestershire and Little Angels Rescue in Essex http://www.rabbitwelfare.co.uk/rwf/?section=rescues.html In addition, we feature two further rescues in this message, and a further case where a private person has come to the rescue of bunnies about to be dumped.

We start with a request for a very special personor family to adopt a special needs bunny and his bondmate.

The Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary has a rabbit section and recently two rabbits were handed in, one of them, Rory, had a problem which affected his movement, which the vet later confirmed as a broken back. This has been confirmed by a second veterinary opinion. Because of this, as you can guess, Rory is a special needs rabbit, and needs a home where people will be able to offer him the time and commitment he needs, and will also be able to offer his friend Rosie a home, as they are both very attached to each other.

We know that because of his special needs, Rory will need a special home, and know that this will be hard to find, but as he is such a lovely rabbit we think that he is worth all the effort that it will take, and hope that there is someone out there who will feel the same, who will welcome this pair into their home and hearts.

[IMG]http://i126.photobucket.com/albums/p85/roslynlamb/Work/538327_423160867701122_270178866332657_1887783_1776525977_n.jpg[/IMG]

If you feel you are the right person to take on Rory and Rosie, then please contact Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary 01865 890239, email contact@oxfordshireanimalsanctuary.org.uk or via their website http://www.oxfordshireanimalsanctuary.org.uk/

……………

Freshfields Animal Rescue is an independent rescue based in the north west. We have a non-destruction policy and prioritize stray, abandoned and abused animals. Our small animal unit houses on average 30 rabbits, 15 guinea pigs and other various small animals. All of our rabbits are neutered, vaccinated, micro chipped and health checked before they are rehomed.

We have rabbits of all ages, colours, sizes and types. Unfortunately some are harder to rehomed than others. We particularly struggle rehoming older rabbits (3+). For example Fifi and Zac are a fantastic pair of rabbits with no health problems and great personalities but because they are aged 4 and 5 they always get overlooked.

[IMG]http://i126.photobucket.com/albums/p85/roslynlamb/Work/FifiZack.jpg[/IMG]

We also struggle to rehomed larger rabbits as most people who come to us want dwarf rabbits. An example of this is Jamie and Sylvia. They are French lops and have a really lovely temperament and cheeky attitudes and this all adds to their charm. Unfortunately because of their size many people are not willing to build a pen big enough for them and they are overlooked.
[IMG]http://i126.photobucket.com/albums/p85/roslynlamb/Work/SylviaandJamie.jpg[/IMG]

For more information on our rabbits and all the other animals at Freshfields Animal Rescue visit our website www.freshfieldsrescue.org.uk.

……………….

And finally, we were contacted recently by a lady who had been told by a man that he was going to turn out two ‘Nethies’ onto the street. She took them in, to find that they are in fact young large dwarf lops, harlequins. It’s likely that there’s a lot of French lop in them, given how big they already are at such a young age.

They’re only 4 or 5 months old, but because they weren’t neutered when she took them in, they began to fight and are now having to live apart from each other. The lady says

‘ They are now separated (since a couple of hours after we took them in) as they were fighting and we put them in the big runs, which meant we had to give up two runs for 2 of our bonded pairs. I would like to rehome them as house rabbits.

I have named the boys Jack (Calico) and Henry (Harlequin). Henry has amazing blue eyes. He is the gentle soul and Jack is full of energy and very friendly. Henry is also friendly but more of an introvert.’

Both are being neutered this week and they will have their VHD vaccinations next week. They are in Ely, Cambridgeshire.

[IMG]http://i126.photobucket.com/albums/p85/roslynlamb/Work/2salt.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i126.photobucket.com/albums/p85/roslynlamb/Work/2pep1.jpg[/IMG]

If you feel you can offer a home to either Jack or Henry, then please contact hq@rabbitwelfare.co.uk and your mail will be passed on to the rescuer.

April’s rescue page – have you got room?

Our rescue page has been updated for April and features two rescues, Windwhistle Warren in Gloucestershire and Little Angels Rescue in Essex http://www.rabbitwelfare.co.uk/rwf/?section=rescues.html In addition, we feature two further rescues in this message, and a further case where a private person has come to the rescue of bunnies about to be dumped.

We start with a request for a very special personor family to adopt a special needs bunny and his bondmate.

The Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary has a rabbit section and recently two rabbits were handed in, one of them, Rory, had a problem which affected his movement, which the vet later confirmed as a broken back. This has been confirmed by a second veterinary opinion. Because of this, as you can guess, Rory is a special needs rabbit, and needs a home where people will be able to offer him the time and commitment he needs, and will also be able to offer his friend Rosie a home, as they are both very attached to each other.

We know that because of his special needs, Rory will need a special home, and know that this will be hard to find, but as he is such a lovely rabbit we think that he is worth all the effort that it will take, and hope that there is someone out there who will feel the same, who will welcome this pair into their home and hearts.

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If you feel you are the right person to take on Rory and Rosie, then please contact Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary 01865 890239, email contact@oxfordshireanimalsanctuary.org.uk or via their website http://www.oxfordshireanimalsanctuary.org.uk/

……………

Freshfields Animal Rescue is an independent rescue based in the north west. We have a non-destruction policy and prioritize stray, abandoned and abused animals. Our small animal unit houses on average 30 rabbits, 15 guinea pigs and other various small animals. All of our rabbits are neutered, vaccinated, micro chipped and health checked before they are rehomed.

We have rabbits of all ages, colours, sizes and types. Unfortunately some are harder to rehomed than others. We particularly struggle rehoming older rabbits (3+). For example Fifi and Zac are a fantastic pair of rabbits with no health problems and great personalities but because they are aged 4 and 5 they always get overlooked.

Photobucket

We also struggle to rehomed larger rabbits as most people who come to us want dwarf rabbits. An example of this is Jamie and Sylvia. They are French lops and have a really lovely temperament and cheeky attitudes and this all adds to their charm. Unfortunately because of their size many people are not willing to build a pen big enough for them and they are overlooked.
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For more information on our rabbits and all the other animals at Freshfields Animal Rescue visit our website www.freshfieldsrescue.org.uk.

……………….

And finally, we were contacted recently by a lady who had been told by a man that he was going to turn out two ‘Nethies’ onto the street. She took them in, to find that they are in fact young large dwarf lops, harlequins. It’s likely that there’s a lot of French lop in them, given how big they already are at such a young age.

They’re only 4 or 5 months old, but because they weren’t neutered when she took them in, they began to fight and are now having to live apart from each other. The lady says

‘ They are now separated (since a couple of hours after we took them in) as they were fighting and we put them in the big runs, which meant we had to give up two runs for 2 of our bonded pairs. I would like to rehome them as house rabbits.

I have named the boys Jack (Calico) and Henry (Harlequin). Henry has amazing blue eyes. He is the gentle soul and Jack is full of energy and very friendly. Henry is also friendly but more of an introvert.’

Both are being neutered this week and they will have their VHD vaccinations next week. They are in Ely, Cambridgeshire.
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If you feel you can offer a home to either Jack or Henry, then please contact hq@rabbitwelfare.co.uk and your mail will be passed on to the rescuer.