The British government is considering replacing current lab animal regulations with a new EU directive that offers less protection. Adopting the EU law could result in reduced inspections in labs, less oversight by ethical committees, inhumane methods of killing, and an increase in suffering by lab animals in the UK.
Every year approximately 10,138 rabbits are used in experiments in the UK. These animals need your help. If 10,000 people raise their voices by September 5th and urge the British government to say no to the EU law, this could prevent a huge step back in animal welfare in the UK. If you live in the UK, you can say no to the consultation by clicking here.
The University of Bristol’s School of Veterinary Sciences is conducting a study of how rabbits are cared for in the UK.
According to Dr. Emily Blackwell, a member of the research team: “We are keen to hear from rabbit owners about all aspects of their rabbit’s life as very little is currently known about the way pet rabbits are kept in the UK. We want to know where rabbits live, how they behave, what they eat and how healthy they are, as well as how they interact with their owners.”
For the “Super Contemporary” show which opened at the Design Museum in London today, fashion designer Paul Smith and 14 other artists were commissioned to “give something back” to London.
Smith focused his project on his distaste for litter. His creation is a 5-foot green rabbit holding a trash bag. When you throw garbage in the bin, the rabbit’s ears light up. Prototypes of his “New London Rubbish Bin” have been placed in Covent Gardens and Holland Park on a 4-month trial period.
I love the idea, and I hope these garbage bins end up all over the place.
Inspired by rabbit show jumping videos on YouTube, two brothers, Mathew and Thomas Haslam, from Doncaster, England, have been training their two rabbits to participate in the rabbit agility competition at the Ultimate Pet Show in Birmingham. The two bunnies, Bubbles and Lilac, are a favorite to win the competition. To prep the rabbits for the contest, Mathew and Thomas set up obstacles in their backyard and initially used leashes to guide the rabbits over the fences.
At Pennywell Farm in Devon, England, an unusual friendship has blossomed between William, a miniature piglet, and Charles, a giant rabbit. According to Chris Murray of Pennywell Farm, “The cheeky piglet seems to have no fear of something so much bigger than he is and he will also help himself to any food that Charles has.”
In light of the shockingly high number of pet rabbit neglect/abuse cases in England last year, the Royal Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) has launched a campaign called Rabbit Action Week.
During the week of March 28 – April 5, the society hopes to educate pet owners about proper rabbit care. Free health checks, neutering vouchers, and microchipping will be available at various venues throughout England.
Many vets, retailers, rescues and other rabbit organizations across the UK will be participating in National Rabbit Week offering free checkups, samples, and care information. Go to the Burgess National Rabbit Week website for more information and to find events in your area.
Ethel, a lop-eared rabbit from the UK, lost the use of her hind legs after falling ill. Zoe Holbourne, her owner, decided to give her rabbit another chance at mobility and ordered a custom wheelchair from Dogs to Go, a Texas company that makes carts for disabled pets. It was the first wheelchair the company had shipped to the UK.
According to Holbourne, “At first she struggled to keep her balance and kept tipping over, but she soon got to grips with it, especially on flat surfaces. Now she loves it. The wheelchair is very effective and it stops moving as soon as she wants it to. It doesn’t roll along when she is standing still.”
I have seen disabled bunnies using carts before, but I’m not sure how common it is. From what I’ve seen, some people have been able to build their own bunny wheelchairs, and there are several companies that can custom build them as well, including:
This past March marked National Vaccination Month where UK rabbit owners were offered a free dose of vaccine to protect their rabbits against the deadly disease myxomatosis. Vaccinations for myxomatosis should be administered every six months to provide continued immunity, so Intervet / Schering-Plough Animal Health are offering those pet owners who took part in the campaign in March to receive a second free dose this month.
Myxomatosis is a painful condition that is largely untreatable. For more information, visit: