Burgess Pet Care’s virtual RAW campaign proves a hit following feedback from vets and owners - Veterinary Practice
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Burgess Pet Care’s virtual RAW campaign proves a hit following feedback from vets and owners

Survey reveals 75 percent of rabbit owners made a change to their rabbits’ care after taking part in this year’s two-week virtual campaign

Burgess Pet Care, the organisers of Rabbit Awareness Week (RAW), the UK’s largest welfare campaign for rabbits, is hailing the RAW 2020 virtual campaign as a huge success, following positive feedback from both rabbit owners and veterinary professionals.

While many veterinary practices were unable to carry out routine health checks as usual, a survey issued to vets at the end of the campaign found hundreds of vets ran a digital RAW campaign. The veterinary community is also embracing digital technology, as 38 percent of vets said they are now offering video consultations. The same survey found:

  • 97 percent believe RAW has had a positive impact on the care of rabbits in the UK
  • 92 percent believe rabbit welfare in the UK is improving
  • 68 percent said COVID has affected how many rabbits they can see in practice
  • 38 percent think that environment is the most neglected welfare need in rabbits
  • 38 percent are offering video consultations
  • 22 percent believe diet is the most neglected welfare need

Due to social distancing regulations, the RAW 2020 campaign took place as a two-week virtual festival on the RAW social media channels, featuring educational video content from the RAW organisers and partners: Burgess Pet Care, RSPCA, PDSA, the Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund, Wood Green the Animals Charity, Blue Cross, Scottish SPCA and CEVA Animal Health.

A similar survey completed by rabbit owners at the end of the campaign shared positive feedback, with 75 percent of rabbit owners saying they made a change to their rabbits’ care after taking part in this year’s RAW campaign. 45 percent download a RAW owners’ pack, which contained information on how to provide better care for their rabbits, with the majority completing the RAW Better Bunnies programme – a month-long care programme encouraging rabbit owners to spend more time with their rabbits.

The same survey found:

  • 51 percent shared content on their social media pages
  • 46 percent bought new toys or boredom breakers
  • 40 percent were reminded to vaccinate their rabbits by the campaign
  • 37 percent learnt something new about rabbits
  • 16 percent made a change to their rabbits’ diet

Holly Ackroyd, senior brand manager at Burgess Pet Care, the organiser of RAW, said:

“We would like to say a huge thank you to the veterinary community, pet retailers, rescue centres and rabbit owners who took part in this year’s RAW campaign, despite the challenges and restrictions imposed by COVID-19. Even without any physical events taking place, we managed to reach more rabbit owners than ever before thanks to the fantastic educational content that was shared on social media channels.

“While rabbits are still widely recognised as being one of the UK’s most misunderstood animals, we’re delighted that the positive feedback from both vets and rabbit owners has shown RAW is helping to address the key challenges when it comes to the improving the welfare of rabbits in the UK.”

The next RAW campaign is currently in its planning stages, and the veterinary community is welcomed to share their thoughts on the issues they would like to see addressed in next year’s campaign. Feedback can be shared by emailing info@rabbitawarenessweek.co.uk

The RAW owner survey was completed by 553 rabbit owners and the RAW vet survey, by 130 veterinary professionals.

For more information on Rabbit Awareness Week, please visit the website.

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