The reason we always say that A Hutch is Not Enough is because sadly some owners still think it’s acceptable to keep their rabbits confined to a hutch.
Rabbits should be permanently housed in an enclosure that’s least 3m x 2m x 1m high. Keeping them confined to a hutch is cruel. These are just some of the problems it causes:
Treacle is a Rex rabbit, so she’s an average sized rabbit, not a giant. In a small hutch her body fills the whole living area. She certainly can’t stretch and run freely, and there is nothing in here to keep her occupied.
In reality, all she can do is sit. Rabbits need to run, jump, stretch up, dig and forage – it’s cruel to keep a rabbit alone and in a hutch.
Because Treacle’s hutch is so small she is exposed to all of the weather conditions, be that wind, rain or hot sun. Because of the wire on two sides, she has very little shelter. Rabbits can’t escape the weather in a hutch like this – it’s badly designed.
After one night of rain, the hutch is wet (pictured), the bedding too. This means the rabbit is forced to stay in the tiny bedroom area, where they usually go to the toilet, or sit in the damp bedding.
Room to rear up
As you can see, with lid down, Treacle wouldn’t be able to stretch up inside her hutch. This would cause painful spinal deformity.
Rabbits must be able to stand up on their back legs without their ears touching the top so the hutch
Our pets should not be battery animals
Quite simply keeping a rabbit alone in a hutch without the opportunity to exercise, display normal behaviour or without companionship is not acceptable. It does not meet any of the animals fundamental requirements, or any of the owners responsibilities under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Here is how you can meet your rabbits’ welfare needs.
A hutch 1.2m long, and 0.45m (which is a fairly common size found in pet shops of 4ft x 1.5ft) wide gives a floor area of 0.54m2. Did you know that this size is the Home Office minimum requirement for laboratory rabbits? With that in mind we don’t think that it’s too much to ask that retailers and owners don’t sell or buy anything of this size or smaller for their pet rabbits, who may live 10 years in them!