Call to ban rabbit sales as owners abandon thousands after breeding explosion during lockdown
- A petition calling for a rabbit breeder’s license has garnered 55,000 names
Charities are demanding a ban on the sale and breeding of rabbits as shelters become overrun.
Thousands of rabbits have been abandoned after an explosion of breeding during the lockdown and as the cost of living means owners can’t afford to keep them.
Last year, RSPCA centers saw the number of rabbits dumped rise by almost 50 percent compared to 2021.
A petition from the Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund has garnered 55,000 names calling for rabbit breeders to be licensed, as dog breeders should be.
It also wants a requirement that buyers know the sex of the rabbit they are buying to limit accidental breeding.
Thousands of rabbits have been abandoned after an explosion in breeding during the lockdown
Director Rae Walters said: ‘Rescue services are overrun, people abandon rabbits every day and release them into the wild. We ask people to stop breeding and selling during this crisis, otherwise it will only get worse.’
A center is trying to rehome 160 rabbits found on a Leicestershire estate due to over-breeding.
The owner started with only four rabbits. In 2021, the charity PDSA found that a third of the UK’s 900,000 pet rabbits had not been neutered.