If you’re buying a rabbit this Easter, please make it a chocolate one!
Thanks to the tradition of the Easter Bunny, Easter has long been associated with rabbits. Unfortunately it has become a time when many people are encouraged to buy rabbits as pets without fully understanding all their welfare needs.
Every year in the UK 67,000 rabbits are handed over to rescues, largely because new owners didn’t understand what they were taking on when they bought them. At Animals in Distress, our Ipplepen rescue centre is already at full capacity with rabbits and we have a long waiting list of rabbits needing to come in.
Our Easter message: If you’re buying a rabbit this Easter, please make it a chocolate one and not a real one!
A chocolate rabbit is delicious and you have literally no commitment to it once Easter is over!
A real rabbit, on the other hand, is a highly social animal with complex care needs, and an 8-12 year commitment which may cost you £11,000 in its lifetime.
- Rabbits need to live with other rabbits and should never be kept alone
- They need spacious living accommodation and access to a large running area to meet their welfare needs; a hutch is not enough
- If not given the correct diet rabbits can get very sick and die. The wrong diet can also cause severe dental problems – leading to many visits to the vet
- They need frequent grooming and cleaning out to avoid flystrike and other potentially fatal issues
- Rabbits are not the easy pets for children that you might expect. In general they don’t like being picked up and cuddled – they have sharp teeth and claws and powerful back legs and can bite and scratch when handled incorrectly – children often lose interest when they discover rabbits are not the cuddly pets they expected.
If later in the year, after researching rabbits fully you are prepared to make the commitment to giving them their forever home, please do consider adopting rabbits rather than shopping. We have many lovely rabbits at our rescue centre all hoping to find loving new homes – not for Easter, but for the rest of their lives.
We would like to wish everyone a happy Easter, and we hope you enjoy your chocolate – we did!