Rabbits deserve better than just tiny hutches

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THIS week I learned it was a nationwide Rabbit Awareness Week andI see that a number of Eastbourne organisations and vets have been offering free advice on how to better care for rabbits.

I for one, had no idea of the scale of neglect of rabbits kept as pets.

While many rabbit owners are responsible and caring, it seems that thousands of these poor animals are kept by those with little idea of their natural behaviour or needs.

Apparently rabbits are highly intelligent, active and sociable animals who like living in groups.

And yet many of them are kept in solitary confinement in tiny hutches where they cannot even stand up properly.

They are also, like humans, becoming obese through wrong diet and lack of exercise.

According to the RSPCA, 75 per cent of Britain’s two million pet rabbits are poorly looked after.

Thousands end up in sanctuaries and these might be the lucky ones - better than spending a life in a tiny hutch at the end of the garden with a bowl of water provided when the owner remembers.

I should like to appeal to readers who are thinking of getting a pet rabbit to think very carefully about things like size of hutch, provision of exercise outdoors as well as a healthy diet and the opportunity to behave as a rabbit should.

Ann Johnson

Beachy Head Road