Interview with BBC Radio Scotland

Reposting this following our interview on BBC Scotland this morning: Many people are surprised at how much it costs to properly care for two rabbits, so here is some information that everyone who is considering getting a rabbit should read before they take the plunge. Unlike Cats and Dogs which are not usually available from pet shops, rabbits are readily available and can be bought on impulse, without the full facts being known. It is not acceptable to keep a single rabbit confined to a hutch, yet it happens all too often, making rabbits the most neglected pets in the UK. Please don’t make the same mistake and cause unnecessary suffering. It’s very common that a few months after purchase, the cute fluffy babies are fully grown rabbits and become unwanted, and either end up in rescue, or even worse, neglected at the bottom of the garden. Rabbits should live up to 10 years, but often don’t make it to four because of poor diet and living standards. A hutch simply is not enough – read on to see what rabbits need and how much you should expect to pay. Initial set up costs 2 rabbits £60 – £100 (Rabbits should never be kept alone, they do get lonely) Neutering of 2 rabbits – up to £180 (rabbits need to be neutered to live happily together and prevent accidental litters of rabbits) Hutch / Run / Enclosure – £200 would be the minimum but could be up to £500. (We recommend a 6ft x 2ft x 2ft hutch as a minimum with an attached 8 ft run, and you will really have to be lucky to get this for less than £400) Bedding, bowls etc – £30 Toys £10 Hay / food – £20 Total initial set up costs – allow £930 Then monthly costs of Hay – £15 (if buying pre packed, dust free from pet shops) Good quality food £10 Bedding – £10 Fresh Vegetables – £20 Insurance – £15 Total Monthly costs – £70.00 Per annum this is £840 Then annual costs of 2 x myxi vaccines per year, per bunny – £100 on average 1 x VHD vaccine per annum per bunny – £50 on average 2 weeks in bunny boarding while you have your annual holiday – £70 Total annual costs in addition to usual monthly costs – £220 Added to usual monthly costs per annum the cost is £1060 Dental disease is very common and is very often due to poor diet, eg lack of hay, or lack of exercise, i.e. not letting the rabbits out of their hutch, so please don’t think that you can save money by cutting corners, because this usually ends in an ill rabbit and a huge vet bill. Dental procedures can be around £80 per bunny, and are usually avoidable if the diet and accommodation is right. Rabbits should live on average for 10 years, so including the set up costs, to keep 2 rabbits properly will cost you on average over £11,550. Are you sure you still want to buy the children a pet rabbit now?! Cutting corners and doing things on the cheap by keeping one rabbit alone in a small hutch, with a poor diet etc, is not an option that any decent person should consider. If you can’t afford to do it right, then don’t do it at all. There are other animals that may be more suitable . Thousands of rabbits end up in rescue centres every year because children pester their parents for a cute fluffy bunny and then the novelty soon wears off. How many of your children’s toys are they playing with 6 months later? Let alone 12 months, 2 years, 10 years etc. Don’t be another statistic, do it right. You should only consider taking on rabbits if you can put the time to them and give them a life that they deserve – A HUTCH IS NOT ENOUGH