Have you heard about Rabbit Awareness Week? Taking place from the 10th to the 18th of May, the event aims to raise awareness of the neglect that many pet rabbits in the UK are subject to.
Support Adoption For Pets are a pet adoption charity who work to give abandoned and homeless animals a second chance at happiness, passionate about helping pets in need. Naturally, they think that Rabbit Awareness Week is a fantastic idea and want to help raise awareness as much as possible.
There are currently 1,552 local events taking place in Rabbit Awareness Week, including free rabbit health checks at selected veterinary practices and other events at pet shops and rescue centres. Schools are also being encouraged to join in on the action, with the organisers providing rabbit resources for lessons, with the possibility of getting experts into schools to give talks and presentations on rabbit welfare.
The awareness week centres itself around five key pillars of rabbit welfare – diet, environment, behaviour, company and health. The organisers hope to educate all rabbit owners about the importance of each individual area, in order to ensure the best possible life for pet rabbits. The event encourages rabbit owners to ‘change one thing’ – as even making just one easy alteration to the care given to your pet rabbit can make a massive difference to their welfare.
For example, ensuring that your pet rabbits’ are getting plenty of good quality hay can make a huge positive impact on the diet of your rabbits’, helping to improve their overall welfare.
Also, many rabbit owners leave their rabbit alone in a hutch, without realising that this actually leads to a very miserable life for the rabbit, due to their incredibly social nature. Rather, rabbits should ideally live in friendly pair or groups in order to satisfy their complex social needs.
In addition to this, pet rabbits should be given the opportunity to get loads of exercise – wild rabbits roam around territory that is equivalent to around 30 tennis courts! Running around in large spacious areas helps to keep rabbits fit and healthy, and so you should aim to provide your rabbit with a large run or exercise area in addition to their hutch, in order to facilitate this exercise.
Everyone at Support Adoption For Pets are really excited about Rabbit Awareness Week 2014 (see their blog post about rabbits! http://www.supportadoptionforpets.co.uk/blog/rabbiting-rabbits/), and hope that it will be able to make a real difference to rabbits’ lives all around the country. More details can be found on the Rabbit Awareness Week website (http://www.rabbitawarenessweek.co.uk/), which provides information on how you or your organisation can get involved in the week, as well as facts about all of the five key pillars of rabbit welfare.