Estimated as the third most popular pet in the UK, rabbits’ needs are still grossly misunderstood. Sometimes referred to as the ‘forgotten pet’, a recent survey of vets in the UK shows that 73 per cent had seen pet rabbits who were not having all of their welfare needs met.
In the survey, carried out by the British Veterinary Association ahead of Rabbit Awareness Week (1-9 June), vets aired concerns that many owners were not ticking all the boxes for keeping their rabbits happy and healthy. Providing a suitable diet topped the list of concerns, reported by 78 per cent of those seeing welfare needs not being met. 76 per cent reported that rabbits were being housed alone or with other species, and 72 per cent were concerned that the rabbits were being cared for in an inappropriate environment.
As highly sociable animals, vets and animal experts recommend that rabbits are housed with a suitable companion rabbit, the ideal being a neutered rabbit of the opposite sex. Although it is generally recognised that a solitary life has a negative impact on the physical health and mental well being of pet rabbits, the survey also revealed that 43 per cent of vets saw rabbits that were housed alone. ...follow the link to read the article in full on the BVA website