Huge increase in unwanted rabbits

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There has been a 40 per cent increase in the number of rabbits being given up by their Scots owners in the past five years.

And the statistic has prompted the Scottish SPCA to urge people to think very carefully before buying a bunny.

Scotland’s animal welfare charity is highlighting the plight of the common pet with its annual Rabbit Awareness Week, which runs from July 15 to 21.

The Scottish SPCA is keen to encourage existing and would-be owners in Angus, Tayside and Fife to consider taking on a rescue rabbit rather than buying a new bunny from a shop, with the number of abandoned, unwanted and neglected bunnies coming into its care steadily increasing over the last five years.

Lesley Clark, manager of the charity’s Angus, Tayside and Fife Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre at Petterden, Dundee, said: “In 2012 we rescued a staggering 766 rabbits across Scotland, almost a 40 per cent increase on the 548 rabbits we cared for in 2008. “This year is proving to be very challenging as well and this worrying trend demonstrates why we need to raise awareness of the hardships many pet rabbits face. We’d be delighted to welcome potential owners along to our rescue centres to meet the rabbits we have waiting for a fresh start in life and loving new homes.”

The Scottish SPCA’s local Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information call 03000 999 999 or visit scottishspca.org/rehoming.