Campaign Against Small Rabbit Hutches
The Rabbit Welfare Association (RWA) is calling for retailers to review the size of the hutches they sell, and remove hutches under 4 feet from their ranges. Many big high street names are presently offering hutches which are so small that keeping a rabbit in them is not just ill advised it is cruel.
The Animal Welfare Act creates a legal obligation for owners to provide for the welfare needs of their rabbits, which include:
- somewhere suitable to live
- the ability to express normal behaviour
- being housed with (or apart from) other animals as they require.
Hutches that are so small it is impossible for a single rabbit to run or even stretch out, let alone a pair of rabbits, make meeting these legal requirements impossible.
Retailers often use misleading information to promote their hutches, for example using language like ‘large’ and ‘spacious’ or using baby rabbits in promotional photos to make hutches appear larger:
Left: Homebase promotional photo, Right: RWA image showing the same hutch with an adult rabbit.
Owners unwittingly trusting the advice of retailers could find themselves facing expensive vet bills from health issues cause by the inadequate space to exercise even prosecution.
If you spot a hutch that is too small or is misleadingly described then let the retailer know how you feel by writing, emailing or speaking to the in store manager.
If you’d like to learn more about the campaign, visit the Rabbit Welfare Association website.