Charity issues rabbit warning

The Scottish SPCA says people should not buy rabbits on impulse
The Scottish SPCA says people should not buy rabbits on impulse

The Scottish SPCA is advising people against buying rabbits as Easter gifts for fear of a surge in abandonments.

Scotland’s animal welfare charity is warning that a rabbit is not just for Easter.

Last year the organisation rescued 493 pet rabbits across the country and this year is also proving to be difficult, with 116 rabbits already taken in.

Scottish SPCA chief superintendent Mike Flynn said: “There are lots of loving rabbit owners who treat their pets like one of the family and give them all the care and attention they need but sadly this isn’t true in all cases.

“The biggest issue is rabbits being put in a hutch and left at the bottom of the garden, with many enduring a life of solitude and boredom.

“We have come across many cases where rabbits have been left with horrifically overgrown teeth and nails. Rabbits need hay to gnaw on to keep their teeth in good condition, as well as regular nail trimming.

“They also need plenty of toys and tunnels to keep them occupied and ideally, rabbits should be bonded with a companion but where this isn’t possible they’ll need enough human contact to keep them stimulated.”

He added: “Rabbits are highly intelligent and sociable animals who can make fantastic family pets, though we strongly advise parents that they and not their children need to take responsibility for their welfare.

“People should not buy rabbits on impulse and should make an informed decision by learning about rabbit care first.”