BBC criticised by animal charity over 'star' rabbit sell-off
Animal Charity Burrowed Off by BBC
September 17, 2013, UK. Press Dispensary. The recent BBC TV programme, The Burrowers, showed, among other animals, the sort of behaviours displayed by rabbits. The rabbits shown on the programme were in a huge space, with room to run, jump, show their sociable natural tendencies and of course to burrow.
The Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund (RWAF), the UK's largest charity aimed at improving the health and welfare of pet rabbits, learned after the show was aired that the 'star' rabbits used in the programme were going to be split up and sold through pet shops.
Speaking for the RWAF, Rae Todd said: "As we know only too well from our contact with rescue shelters and the public, rabbits sold in pet shops are often bought by people who are not aware of the needs of the species. This is a problem that the RWAF tries to tackle on a daily basis, but in the case of the BBC sell-off it is exacerbated, knowing that the rabbits in question have become used to an enriched environment, and yet could end up alone in a hutch.
"We have attempted to contact the BBC and the production company, to try and work out a practical solution that does not result in the rabbits going through the pet shop system. We know that many individuals have also raised their concerns.
"The BBC - funded by the British public through the license fee – has not even had the courtesy to respond. The RWAF is appalled that the national broadcaster would not even take the trouble to engage with a national charity with only one agenda, to ensure the welfare of defenceless animals.
"It would be a travesty if these animals - that the programme itself showed to be curious, athletic and sociable - become doomed to live a life of solitary confinement without the ability to display their natural behaviours."
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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