Hare raising - and why lettuce bugs bunny

TWO experts on small animal care discuss the finer points of a Belgian hare during preparations for the opening of the event of the year for fanciers of rabbits, rats, mice, gerbils and guinea pigs.

Paul Miley, is managing director of Burgess Pet Care, main sponsors of what is now called the Burgess Premier Small Animal Show – formerly the Bradford Championship Show. Paul Threapleton, right, is chairman of the Bradford Small Livestock Society, which has organised "the Crufts of the small animal world" since 1929.

The 44-year-old architect bred the hare at his home near Selby.

The show is open to the public from 9 am today and tomorrow, at the Yorkshire Events Centre at Harrogate.

Burgess Pet Care makes a range of specialist feeds at Pollington, near Goole – Suparat, Supahamster, and so on, and Excel rabbit food.

Mr Miley said: "Most people start their pet-owning relationships with a small furry pet and we got involved with this show because we are very concerned to make sure they make the right choices and get the feeding right.

"It is very easy to get it wrong. Contrary to popular belief, based on Bugs Bunny, rabbits do not eat carrots, for example, although they might chew off the green tops.

"And lettuce is probably the worst green leaf you could give them."