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Cruelty Will Only Be Stopped by Licensing Breeders, says Rabbit Welfare Charity

2011-01-17
The Year of the Rabbit is the Year to End Breeding Cruelty


January 17, 2011, UK. Press Dispensary. Despite 2011 being the ‘Year of the Rabbit’, the UK is in the wake of another horrific case of rabbit cruelty and neglect.  In response, the Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund (RWAF) – the largest charity dedicated to improving the health and welfare of domestic rabbits in the UK – is calling it a day on unregulated breeding and appealing for all rabbit breeders to be licensed.

Too often rabbits are seen as an easy way to make a quick buck because the system fails them, and it has got to stop.
Rae Todd, RWAF

PACT, an animal sanctuary in Norfolk, recently came to the rescue of 74 rabbits, including babies, living in filthy, squalid conditions.  The 74 were those that survived; many others were not so lucky and were found dead at the heartbreaking scene.

The RWAF advises that this is not the first case of its kind and stress that the cruelty only came to light because the breeder was admitted to hospital and his premises visited in his absence.

“How many other animals are suffering like this without anybody knowing?” asked Rae Todd of the RWAF.  “We know nothing is foolproof but one way of tackling irresponsible back yard breeders like this, and preventing further cruelty on this scale, is to insist that every rabbit breeder in the UK is licensed and regularly inspected.  Too often rabbits are seen as an easy way to make a quick buck because the system fails them, and it has got to stop.”

Realistically, the implementation of licensing schemes is a long way off, so the charity urges that, in the meantime, everybody can play a role in pushing for better standards, asking that:

•         Pet retailers visit their breeders on a regular basis, and publish this information in-store to inform their customers.  If a breeder is not maintaining their standards appropriately then the retailer should sever ties with them.  

•         Pet shop customers should question their pet shop about the breeders they use.  They should ask how often the store visits the breeder, and seek confirmation that they are reputable maintain good welfare standards.

•         Members of the public who buy directly from breeders should have a good look around the premises and report anything suspicious to their local authority, the RWAF or the RSPCA. But don’t forget that a local rescue centre will have lots of rabbits looking for good homes, in most cases already vaccinated and neutered.

For information about the Norfolk PACT bunnies, who all are in need of homes, please contact PACT on 01362 820 775 or via their website

http://www.pactsanctuary.org/about-us.html

or visit the RWAF blog:

http://rabbitwelfare.blogspot.com/2011/01/urgent-help-needed-for-pact-rescue.html

For more information on rabbit health and welfare visit http://www.rabbitwelfare.co.uk

- ends -

Notes for editors
The Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund (RWAF) is a registered charity, No 1085689 and is the official charity of the Rabbit Welfare Association which has about 3000 members. It is dedicated to improving the lives of domestic rabbits kept as pets in the UK.

For further information, please contact:
Rae Todd, Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund
Tel: 07585 701012
Email:
Site: www.rabbitwelfare.co.uk

Facebook: http://www.rwaf.org.uk/fbrwaf
YouTube: http://www.rwaf.org.uk/youtube

Media contacts

Rae Todd
Tel: 07585 701012
Email:
Site: www.rabbitwelfare.co.uk

Facebook: http://www.rwaf.org.uk/fbrwaf
YouTube: http://www.rwaf.org.uk/youtube

Keywords/tags
rabbit cruelty animal cruelty unlicensed breeding

Permalink: http://pdpr.uk/en92904/licensing-needed-to-stop-cruelty-says-rabbit-welfare-charity.html

Images for download
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Cramped, filthy and rat infested

Cramped, filthy and rat infested
Cramped, filthy and rat infested
Is this how your pet rabbit started life, at an unlicensed breeding establishment? We can all make a difference - make sure you look round a breeders premises or ask your pet shop when they last did.
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Cramped, filthy and rat infested

Is this how your pet rabbit started life, at an unlicensed breeding establishment? We can all make a difference - make sure you look round a breeders premises or ask your pet shop when they last did.

Click to view or download higher resolution image


Filthy and over crowded

Filthy and over crowded
Filthy and over crowded
Rat infested, filthy and over crowded. Around 80 rabbits were found in these conditions but how many have been kept like this over the last decade?
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Filthy and over crowded

Rat infested, filthy and over crowded. Around 80 rabbits were found in these conditions but how many have been kept like this over the last decade?

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Filthy and rat infested

Filthy and rat infested
Filthy and rat infested
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Filthy and rat infested

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Mother and babies

Mother and babies
Mother and babies
These bunnies were most likely being bred for the meat trade, from these filthy and rat infested conditions.
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Mother and babies

These bunnies were most likely being bred for the meat trade, from these filthy and rat infested conditions.

Click to view or download higher resolution image