Welcome to another Campaign Update, keeping you informed of our constant fight to make things better for bunnies.
Join us on social media
Please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and share our messages so less knowledgeable owners hear our vital messages. We know that this does make a difference because we have had lots
of feedback from owners who have improved even just one thing as a result.
We also share petitions, surveys and information that are useful and interesting, as well as questions from other rabbit owners who are seeking advice. We know there is a huge amount of experience amongst our supporters and it is always good to hear from someone who has been in a similar position. Please join our online community.
Use of RWAF logo
We have recently had a change of policy regarding the use of our logo and have issued this statement:
In order to protect our brand and ensure our messages are not diluted, altered or undermined we have been advised to tighten up in several areas.
Use of logo
We will no longer be able to allow the use of any version of our logo by any organisation or individual other than the RWAF. This includes the Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund (company limited by guarantee #10044925) and Rabbit Welfare Fund (charitable incorporated organisation #1167093).
We are in the process of reviewing and withdrawing our logo wherever it is currently used externally. There will be a period of adjustment where you may see our logo in use in the interim.
We regret having to take this step, knowing that members, rescues etc. like to show their support for us by displaying the supporters logo, for example, but some unfortunate cases of misuse have made this action unavoidable. To put this into context, this is standard practice amongst charities and welfare organisations.
If you see our logo displayed anywhere, please do get in touch so we can make arrangements for it to be withdrawn.
What this means from now on is that whilst we are still very happy to give advice on suitability, we are not going to be able to allow the use of our logo for anything, and any items out there with our agreed text and logo on can stay as they are for now, but as the ranges are revised they will need to be remove the logo.
CEVA nomination for Capone Campaign
As you may know, the Capone Campaign aims to address the huge problem of unlicensed pet retailers advertising rabbits for sale online with no controls over welfare standards, no care advice to their customers and sometimes even selling domestic rabbits for meat.
With funding from Pets Corner and Lush we commissioned Hindesight to create bespoke software which allows us to analyse the online ads and identify potential backyard breeders. Our welfare officer then submits the findings to the relevant local authority for investigation. We have already had some ‘wins’ in that some breeders have been investigated and stopped breeding, including rabbits being bred for meat, and some licences have been issued, which sets a good precedent for other licencing officers to follow.
We have been delighted that the project has been nominated for ‘Charity Team of the Year’ in the CEVA Animal Welfare Awards. To be considered for this award is a great honour and shows recognition for the efforts of everyone involved to tackle what we think is the biggest problem facing pet rabbit welfare right now.
And there is more good news. This project was recently presented at a conference and it caused a great deal of interest with other animal protection charities. We hope that more will follow this up and take advantage of the software created for RWAF, for their own areas.
We are very proud that a very small charity like RWAF has been able to make some strides in this enormous area. Our focus is of course pet rabbits, because they get such a terrible deal and suffer so commonly with neglect and worse. But we are all animal lovers, and know that the backyard breeding is a problem for other domestic animals. Any pressure that can be brought to bear on these online outfits, regardless of which animals they are selling, can only be a good thing. Also, the fact that other charities are so keen on our idea is proof that we are doing the right thing in targeting this issue.
You can read more about the campaign updates here
At the time of going to print we don’t know if we have been shortlisted, if we are, we will update you next time!
The great news is that Pets Corner are funding this project for another 12 months. A huge thank you to Pets Corner from us all.
We have dedicated June 1st to Binky Day for several years now. We want to show everyone how intelligent and active rabbits are, and promote the benefits of meeting their needs as a species. Please get snapping now and capture those binkies.
We would love photos and videos and will share the best ones.
It will be Easter again before we know it. Whilst not as big a problem as it is in the USA where rabbits are commonly given as presents (along with chicks), there is still an issue over here and we always support anything that will make potential owners stop and think before taking on rabbits. We hope this message will stay with owners once the summer is upon us, when rabbit sales are at their highest.
Last year Pets Corner and Pets at Home both pledged to stop selling rabbits over the Easter period and we have been in touch with them again to confirm their plans for this year.
So Far Pets Corner, Jollyes and Pets at Home have pledged to suspend rabbit sales over the Easter period. Pampurred Pets did not take part in 2016; however the good news is that as they are now owned by Pets Corner their stores will be included.
This is what Pets Corner have told us:
“At Pets Corner we are aware that, every year in the UK, tens of thousands of rabbits are handed in to rescue centres, simply because people are not aware of the commitment they are making or the care a rabbit needs to keep it happy and healthy. We believe we are also the only retailer to guarantee the sex of the rabbits we sell and we will only sell as a pair or to live with another rabbit.
During the Easter period we run our ‘Bunnies aren’t for Easter’ campaign and stop all sales of rabbits to deter impulse or spontaneous purchases; instead we will be highlighting the responsibilities involved in rabbit ownership.
As always, we are delighted to work in partnership with the RWAF”.
Jollyes did not respond to us in time last year, but this year they have pledged to suspend sales: They said: “I can confirm that rabbits are being withdrawn from sale and will be communicated at store level with a Customer Notice prepared by Head Office”.
In the hope of getting more of the big retailers involved in this campaign we also approached Notcutts and Dobbies.
Planning application for rabbit breeding facility
One of our supporters contacted us and asked for our support in objecting to a planning application for a rabbit breeding facility which would be using 120 breeding does to supply the pet trade. Not only are there not enough good homes for the rabbits already available, but a commercial breeding facility like this is not at all how happy health pets are likely to be produced. However, although we would be opposed to this on welfare grounds, this is not a reason for a local authority to refuse an application, there needs to be valid objections based on planning policy. We obviously are not experts in this area so we employed a specialist planning consultant to put an objection together for us, which we then submitted. We are waiting for the outcome and will let you know when we hear.