Welfare advocates are requesting that breeders halt new rearing as they are being “stretched to the limit.”
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) has called for urgent action as it sees a hike in rabbits coming into care while adoptions decrease.
It also notes that the nation is “overwhelmed” with rabbit numbers, which are increasing daily. It also urges pet parents to neuter their rabbits to control the population.
In 2020, the RSPCA took in 672 rabbits. The number reached 859 (+28%) in 2021. However, in just 2 and half months in 2023, the charity has already been handed 88 bunnies. Woodgreen Pets Charity, a pet rehoming center in England, claims there’s been a 28% surge in bunnies coming into care and an 83% jump in rabbits added to its waiting list in the last year.
Curbing the sales
The Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund (RWAF) is also appealing to breeders and retailers to curb sales and asking pet parents to adopt. The entity launched a campaign to stop the sale of new rabbits countrywide. Since January 2023, the RWAF has taken in 77% more rabbits than the previous year.
The association notes that the recent inflation could be one of the reasons why pet parents are abandoning their bunnies.
The association claims it is 37% more expensive to care for a pair of pet rabbits nowadays. From £88 ($104/€99) in the last few years, the monthly cost increased to an average of £121 ($144/€136).
UK pet retailer Jollyes banned the sale of rabbits during the Easter period across its 87 stores to “remove the temptation of an impulsive purchase.”
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