Single life is so lonely for the forgotten pets

Rabbits are sociable animals and should not be left in a hutch on their own, the British Veterinary Association said.
Rabbits are sociable animals and should not be left in a hutch on their own, the British Veterinary Association said.
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RABBITS KEPT as pets all too become lonely and forgotten by owners who fail to appreciate their sociable nature, a prominent group of vets have claimed.

The traditional idea of the rabbit in the hutch can mean misery for these pets as they are ill-suited to living on their own, the British Veterinary Association (BVA) said.

According to the results of a BVA survey, a fifth of vets believe the public should be discouraged from keeping the animals unless they are able to give them the attention they need.

The BVA wants rabbit owners to give some thought to their animal’s welfare during Rabbit Awareness Week, which started on Saturday.

BVA president John Blackwell said: “Pet owners, particularly parents trying to buy a suitable pet for their child, have the very best intentions. But I would urge them to stop, think and ask questions before purchasing any animal.

“Rabbits need the companionship of other rabbits and should never be kept alone or with guinea-pigs. The best combination is a neutered female and a neutered male rabbit.”

A recent PDSA report highlighted how widespread the ‘Bugsy Alone’ syndrome is, finding 65 per cent of pet rabbits were living alone in 2013.