Warning not to buy rabbits as Easter gifts

The Scottish SPCA is advising people not to buy rabbits as Easter gifts for fear of a surge in abandonments.

The Scottish SPCA is advising people not to buy rabbits as Easter gifts for fear of a surge in abandonments.

The Scottish SPCA is advising people not to buy rabbits as Easter gifts for fear of a surge in abandoned bunnies.

Scotland’s animal welfare charity is warning that a rabbit is for life, not just for Easter.

The Scottish SPCA has come across many cases where rabbits have been left with horrifically overgrown teeth.

The Scottish SPCA has come across many cases where rabbits have been left with horrifically overgrown teeth.

Mike Flynn, Scottish SPCA Chief Superintendent, said: “Last year we rescued a staggering 670 pet rabbits across Scotland and this year is proving to be challenging as well, with 112 rabbits already taken in.

“There are lots of loving rabbit owners who treat their pets like one of the family and give them all the care and attention they need but sadly this isn’t true in all cases.

“The biggest issue is rabbits being put in a hutch and left at the bottom of the garden, with many enduring a life of solitude and boredom.

“We have come across many cases where rabbits have been left with horrifically overgrown teeth and nails. Rabbits need hay to gnaw on to keep their teeth in good condition, as well as regular nail trimming.

“They also need plenty of toys and tunnels to keep them occupied and ideally, rabbits should be bonded with a companion but where this isn’t possible they’ll need enough human contact to keep them stimulated.

“Rabbits are highly intelligent and sociable animals who can make fantastic family pets, though we strongly advise parents that they and not their children need to take responsibility for their welfare.

“Anyone thinking of rehoming a rabbit should ensure they have the time, commitment and financial ability to provide a happy and healthy life.

“People should not buy rabbits on impulse and should make an informed decision by learning about rabbit care first.”

He added: “Pets are not toys and should never be given on a whim or as a gift.”