It’s Rabbit Awareness Week, and you missed it – didn’t you?
They want to remind you that by law (Animal Welfare Act 2006, natch) you must meet the basic needs of your rabbit in 5 areas:
In one sense this is the right focus. Many pet rabbits live in conditions far worse, and for periods far longer, than rabbits on rabbit farms (which are regulated by DEFRA). The RSPCA has even run “pets not prisoners” campaigns against cruelty to pet rabbits:
It says “rarely a day goes by” without the RSPCA receiving a call about rabbits living in “appalling conditions”, making them one of the most neglected and forgotten pets in the region.
Cases confronted by the RSPCA last yearincluded a seriously ill rabbit that was left to die instead of being taken to the vet’s, a rabbit that was left to slowly starve to death when its owner moved home, and ten rabbits abandoned by a roadside in a cardboard box.
Today the RSPCA has launched a campaign to highlight the plight of rabbits across the north and to show that many are instead kept as prisoners, not pets.
However, inevitably the Rabbit Awareness Week bods have missed out the most important reason for caring for all rabbits: that they make for excellent eating.
Rabbit is one of the healthiest meats, especially if wild, and also one of the least expensive.
The slogan for the week is excellent:
Because Rabbits get a Raw Deal
Quite right; cooked is a far better option.