Love your weekend

We here at the RWAF were disappointed in ‘Love your weekend’ shown this weekend for many reasons. We’ve had lots of comments and complaints, and have reviewed the footage in depth. Essentially, we feel that the rabbits were presented as being highly suitable children’s pets, and there was more emphasis on some breed variations than the many vital points to be considered when thinking about adding rabbits to your family. Yes, it is important to consider the future size of a rabbit breed when deciding on which to choose, but many more breed related features such as the short life span and health problems affecting some breeds, the lack of guard hairs in the Rex breeds, leading to more foot problems than usual, the thick long hair of fur bearing breeds requiring constant attention and grooming, and the levels of inbreeding inherent in developing all of these breeds, which, for example in the short-nosed lionhead breeds, increase the incidence of tooth problems, and in the lop breeds lead to ear problems. This is in addition to the challenging nature of rabbits as pets generally: giving them sufficient space, indoors and out, in all weathers; giving them suitable companionship for this very social species, and ensuring the correct diet, which is vital to help prevent dental problems. We would also like to have seen more emphasis on preventative health, adopting from reputable rescues rather than encouraging breeding,(67,000 rabbits go in to rescue every year) and the correct way to pick up and hold rabbits (ideally not at all: being picked up by a potential predator can be terrifying for them)! One of the interviewees was absolutely right to point out that, kept properly, rabbits can live to 10 or more, but this means providing optimum husbandry. It’s also rather illuminating that they suggested that breeding animals live to a fraction of that, due to the stresses on their bodies when being used for breeding.We will be contacting all involved with more detailed points for discussion and offering to provide further information to assist with giving out better information about rabbits in future. A Hutch is not Enough!We do not support in any way the targeting of any of the individuals involved in the making of this segment, and will remove any posts made about them, instead we suggest you contact ITV directly to raise your complaints:https://www.complaintsdepartment.co.uk/itv-uk/If anyone is thinking of adding rabbits to their family our website is full of good adviceRabbitwelfare.co.uk Lastly, we would urge everyone to consider rescue rabbits, you can find your nearest rescue here:Saveafluff.co.ukRichard Saunders BSc (Hons) BVSc FRSB CBiol DZooMed (Mammalian) DipECZM(ZHM) MRCVS RCVS Specialist in Zoo and Wildlife Medicine (Mammalian)European Specialist in Zoological Medicine