UK Taxation Threatens Lives of Domestic Rabbits
Domestic breeds, as well as being unsuited to a life in the wild because of their caged habitat, have clear physical differences that would make them unable to cope
Although some people may think they are freeing their pets and allowing them a natural lifestyle, the reverse is more likely to be the case. The RWAF advise that the following risks apply to any pet rabbit that is released to the wild and therefore strongly advise against it:
- risk of predation from foxes, cats, dogs, birds of prey
Domestic breeds, as well as being unsuited to a life in the wild because of their caged habitat, have clear physical differences that would make them unable to cope, ie. the Rex has a soft coat that would not keep them warm, and the lop eared rabbits that will not be able to hear predators as well as their up-eared cousins.
Releasing rabbits into the wild is technically 'abandonment' and therefore illegal under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. The RWAF would urge owners to take take their responsibilities towards their pets seriously and do everything they can to provide a suitable environment. If, as a last resort, they are unable to keep the rabbits then they must take all possible steps to rehome their rabbit with someone known to be responsible, and never abandon their rabbit into the wild.
The RWAF are campaigning for a better standard of care for all pet rabbits in the UK, and their current 'A hutch is not enough' campaign highlights the fact that rabbits are social animals and should be kept with the company of their own kind, so need to be neutered as well as vaccinated, and allowed to express natural behaviour such a running, jumping and digging. For more information on how to keep your rabbits happy and healthy visit their website: http://www.rabbitwelfare.co.uk
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Being a grey rabbit Flapjack is highly visable to predators and is not likely to survive for long in the wild, especially if unvaccinated, as the wild population are suffering from Myximatosis at the moment.