Pets at Home bans sale of rabbits during Easter

Tens of thousands of rabbits are abandoned each year

A chain of pet shops has banned the sale of rabbits during the Easter period to prevent the animals from being abandoned when the holidays end. 

Pets at Home has pledged to stop selling customers rabbits from 9am on Good Friday, 25 March, and will continue again on 29 March.

The firm will also run free rabbit workshops over the holidays to raise awareness of how to care for the mammals.

An estimated 1.3million rabbits are kept as pets in the UK. Recent figures showed that the Scottish SPCA rescued around 730 rabbits in 2015. UK-wide figures from the Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund (RWAF) from 2012 found that around 67,000 rabbits were given to shelters each year. 

Peter Pritchard, chief operating officer at Pets at Home, said that pet owners should take time to learn about how to properly care for their animals, Pet Gazette reported. 

The ban mirrors the Dogs Trust “A Dog is for Life not just for Christmas” campaign.

Each year, the charity highlights the problem of dogs being bought as Christmas gifts but abandoned soon after.

A charity in Canada recently took a different approach to the issue of abandoned rabbits by teaming up with a gym to hold a “Bunny Yoga” class.

In a bid to tackle the rabbit overpopulation problem in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada, the managers of Sunberry Gym teamed up with Bandaids for Bunnies to host special yoga sessions with the docile creatures. 

Bandaids for Bunnies campaigns to help animals who have been left in the streets, but are unable to look after themselves because they are house-pets. 

“They end up malnourished, injured, sick, hit by cars, and attacked/killed by predators, both animal and human. These rabbits need help,” the website warns.