Posted: Tue 28th Feb 2023

World Spay Day: RSPCA urges owners to get their rabbits neutered

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Feb 28th, 2023

The RSPCA has urged pet owners to neuter their rabbits to help control a surge in unwanted bunnies that need rehoming from animal rescue centres.

The number of rabbits coming into the charity’s care increased by 48 per cent, and this has led to an animal welfare group, the Rabbit Awareness Action Group (RAAG), to remind pet owners of the benefits of neutering their pets.

The group includes several charities such as the Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund, pet food provider Burgess Pet Care, and the RSPCA.

The RAAG said neutering pets could cut the number of accidental litters and reduce the risk of serious illnesses, such as uterine cancer in female rabbits.

Male rabbits can be castrated from ten weeks, while females can be spayed from four months. By doing so, owners can keep their rabbits in pairs or groups and help prevent serious health and welfare problems developing.

According to the PDSA’s 2021 PAW Report, 37 per cent of the 900,000 pet rabbits living in the UK in May 2021 were not neutered. The report was released ahead of World Spay Day on 28 February, aimed at educating the public on the importance of neutering their pets.

Many animal centres are overwhelmed with abandoned and unwanted rabbits, while at the same time, many owners have found their bunnies breeding out of control, sometimes because they have been sold missexed pairs.

The RSPCA and other RAAG charities deal daily with the problems caused by unwanted litters.

The charity’s branches dealt with 1,942 unwanted rabbits during 2022, and the number of rabbits arriving at RSPCA animal centres increased by 48 per cent to 1,090 last year compared to 2021.

Victoria Williams, the manager at RSPCA Bryn-y-Maen Animal Centre, said, “Currently, we have a rabbit called Valentina that had three newborn babies when she was found abandoned in a box.

She has recently given birth to another litter, so she must already have been pregnant again when she was abandoned.” Williams added that many rabbits were being kept at private boarding accommodation, but the growing family of rabbits would soon be admitted to Bryn-y-Maen.

Dr Jane Tyson, a rabbit welfare expert at the RSPCA, said that the surge in rabbits coming into their care and a drop in the number of people offering to adopt has become a significant issue.

She urged anyone who has rabbits to ensure they know the sex of their pets and to find help on the RSPCA’s advice pages. Tyson added that rabbits can breed earlier than people think, and they can have large litters and can get pregnant soon after giving birth.

Dr Richard Saunders, a vet specialist advisor at the RWA&F, said that pets were often acquired during the pandemic in greater numbers with less pre-planning, including neutering. Saunders added that this, coupled with increased pressure on veterinary practices, had led to a huge population boom among the companion rabbit population.

Dr Saunders called on breeders to place a temporary halt on producing more rabbits and to do everything to facilitate and support rabbit neutering.

Claire Stallard, an animal behaviourist at Blue Cross, said that rabbits could breed from as early as four months old, and it was easy for owners to become overrun in a short space of time.

She said that early neutering is key, as it helps reduce the number of rabbits needing new homes, reduces the risk of health issues, and allows rabbits to live together safely, which is essential for their wellbeing.

Blue Cross offers rabbit neutering for eligible clients who live in the catchment area of one of their hospitals or pet care clinics.

There may be help available towards vet costs and owners can check with their local RSPCA branches to see if they are eligible for help.

Blue Cross offers rabbit neutering for eligible clients who live in the catchment area of one of their hospitals or pet care clinics.

Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: [email protected]
Latest News

  • Manchester Airport passengers urged to check flight status after power cut disruption
  • Mold based finance business joins Green Digital Academy
  • Legal firm sees rise in family law cases despite drop in national divorce rate

  • More...

    Manchester Airport passengers urged to check flight status after power cut disruption

    News

    Mold based finance business joins Green Digital Academy

    News

    Legal firm sees rise in family law cases despite drop in national divorce rate

    News

    Sadness expressed as Flintshire pub approved for conversion into apartments

    Flintshire

    St Davids Park: Temporary road closure in Ewloe next week for essential repair works

    News

    Deeside based Locit champions women in manufacturing and engineering

    News

    Flintshire Council criticised for neglecting residents’ views

    News

    Parents already planning ahead for back-to-school savings amid ongoing economic uncertainty

    News

    Cashless businesses in Wales are “excluding people” with learning disabilities from daily activities

    News