A petition to improve the lives of rabbits has been launched on the change.org website. The petition is addressed to Hon. Caroline Spelman, the U.K.’s Environment Secretary, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
Lately an increase in news about rabbit conditions in the U.K. has been observed, and Hoppington Post wonders whether this is because rabbits in Britain are more of a problem, or is that rabbit activists in that part of the world are more outspoken and are generating more publicity than rabbit organizations in, for example, the U.S. and Canada.
Whatever the reason, this petition, started by the obviously fictitious persona Frida Lagomorpha, raises some very serious questions for discussion. Here is its full text:
Because rabbits, according to the RSPCA, are the most neglected and according to the RWF, the most abandoned animal in the United Kingdom. Because over 30,000 in 2010 and over 35,000 rabbits were abandoned to shelters in 2011 and the numbers just keep rising.
Rabbits are now rising in popularity as house pets and this is causing pet supply stores like Pets At Home to import popular breed such as Lionhead baby rabbits from Spain, where they are taken from their mothers at too young an age (recommended is 8 weeks but they are taken at four weeks). Further, breeders should have to be inspected and licensed and adhere to a high standard of quality of life for rabbits.
And finally, rabbits kept in hutches live a sad short and cruel life, where they can not run and jump, which is their natural inclination. The law should be raised that they are required to have a sizeable run attached to a hutch if they live outside, one which adheres to the standards recommended by the Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund.
People abandon rabbits at a statistic of 50% after only 3 months of purchasing. Shelters and private individuals are taking on the massive burden of trying to save and rehome the abandoned animals. Please do something to make this stop and to imporve the lives of these vastly underestimated, intelligent, affectionate, and beautiful animals.
Anyone who would like to sign the petition may do so online at http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/hon-caroline-spelman-change-the-law-to-provide-better-protection-for-rabbits?utm_campaign=share_button_modal&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition&utm_term=6346843
Perhaps an even more effective petition might be to ban the sale of rabbits at pet stores. We suspect that would be very welcomed by the multitude of rabbit rescues and shelters who are eager to find loving adoptive homes for their bunnies.
Thanks to Chobis for the photo via Flickr.