The real cost of keeping rabbits

With Easter just around the corner, many turn their thoughts to Easter eggs, chocolate, little chicks and cute fluffy bunnies – the real ones, that is.

Many could succumb to the temptation to buy one or two cute baby rabbits as their local pet shop will be filled with little fluffy bundles just waiting to be taken home. But, sadly, domestic rabbits are one of the most misunderstood and mistreated pets in the UK, according to welfare reports.

Despite popular belief, rabbits are not cheap to keep, they are not ideal children’s pets, nor are they happy living in a small hutch at the end of the garden all their lives. Rabbits can cost more than £1,000 a year to care for correctly, require annual vaccinations and neutering, a high standard of accommodation and a neutered partner rabbit too. It is a big commitment that can last for 10 years or more. All this in addition to several hours a day attention, emergency vet treatment if problems arise and cleaning out, irrespective of the weather – or whatever may be on telly.

The Make Mine Chocolate! rabbit welfare campaign is therefore urging people who may wish to get a rabbit to talk to their local reputable rabbit rescue centre before they buy. Further campaign information can be obtained by visiting www.makeminechocolate.org.uk.

Diane Bain

Peebles