In light of this year’s Rabbit Awareness Week (RAW), the organisers of the UK’s largest campaign dedicated to rabbits’ welfare have announced a wealth of initiatives around this year’s theme “Room for Rabbits”. For 2022, it’s all about educating owners on how to provide rabbits with a great environment, including how to adapt their housing for all seasons.
Room for Rabbits follows research that 38 percent of vets think rabbits’ environment is the most neglected welfare need; the PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report found that half (49 percent) of all UK rabbits live alone (equating to around 440,000 rabbits) and a quarter (around 230,000 rabbits) are kept in inadequate housing conditions, such as cramped hutches.
Now in its 16th year, RAW 2022 is taking place from 27 June to 1 July and is backed by Rabbit Awareness Action Group, which comprises of some of the UK’s largest animal welfare organisations and charities and is led by Burgess Pet Care.
Throughout the week, there will be lots of helpful content about creating great environments for rabbits including vet Q&As, blogs and videos which will be shared on the RAW Facebook and Instagram pages. These pages will also be used to share content from vets’ practices who are supporting this year’s RAW campaign with their own initiatives.
Each day of RAW will provide a wealth of information for owners covering different aspects of rabbits’ environment, starting with the basics – a cleaning schedule to ensure that rabbits’ housing remains in tip-top condition year-round.
Days two and three will cover indoor and outdoor environments and how to create great set ups, followed by how to adapt rabbits’ housing for the changing seasons on day four.
The final day of RAW will focus on how owners can create – or extend – a great environment on a budget that gives rabbits the secure space they need.
Holly Castle, senior brand manager at Burgess Pet Care, says: “It remains a common misconception that rabbits are easy, low maintenance pets that are ideal for children – but a lack of understanding of these curious and intelligent creatures means that many are suffering, even though that’s the last thing many owners would want.
“Following a surge in demand for rabbit ownership in the UK during the past two years, it is more important than ever that collectively we educate owners and continue to help improve rabbits’ welfare. One of the ways to do this is by helping owners understand their housing needs and how this impacts upon their wellbeing.
“We are delighted that the veterinary community continues to support RAW and that many practices have already downloaded their free RAW pack. We know that some practices, including RWAF friendly Watkins & Tasker in the Southwest, are choosing to run special events and offers to coincide with Rabbit Awareness Week, such as discounts on all rabbit vaccines and free goodie bags on how to care for rabbits.”
Holly concludes: “RAW continues to have a positive impact, with our 2021 survey showing that 90 percent of vets believe that the welfare of the UK’s rabbits is improving. There’s always more we can do, and we would love more vets’ practices than ever to get involved in this year’s campaign.”