Rabbit Awareness Week (RAW)
1st – 9th JUNE 2019
Rabbit awareness week is about how we can support the welfare of rabbits, this plays a huge part in helping to raise awareness about their correct dietary needs, vaccines and the five freedoms that rabbits need to live happy and healthy lives.
Five Welfare Needs
The 5 freedoms as set out in the Animal Welfare Act (2006) are as follows:
1. Freedom from thirst and hunger– rabbits should be provided access to water, grass/hay or both at all times. They should be given a couple of meals a day consisting of lots of leafy green vegetables and a small amount of hard pellet feed.
2. Freedom from discomfort– rabbits should be kept in a clean environment with plenty of space to move around and should have shelter from extreme temperatures. Furthermore rabbits have sensitive feet so ideally need to be kept on a deep bedding.
3. Freedom from pain and injury– rabbits are prey species thus often hide signs of pain or injury. If you notice any unusual behaviour or injuries (even if the rabbit appears okay in him/herself), we recommend seeking prompt veterinary advice.
4. Freedom to behave normally- rabbits require plenty of space as they would have in the wild; they need room to move. Ideally rabbits should be provided with tunnels, this will stimulate their natural ‘burrowing behaviours’. Finally they should be kept in pairs or groups for company.
5. Freedom from fear and stress– rabbits should be kept somewhere separate from their natural predators, ideally away from louder noises to reduce stress levels. They should also be provide with hiding places so they have an ‘escape’ from stressful stimuli.
We offer yearly Myxomatosis and RVHD1 vaccinations.
Since there are now two strains of the RVHD virus there are also two vaccines available.
The myxo-RVHD1 combination and the RVHD2 vaccine require annual boosting. For rabbits receiving both vaccines there must be a two week interval between the two vaccinations.
Many of our clients enjoy picking dandelions and foraging for their bunnies. While we encourage forage consumption – care must be taken to avoid collecting vegetation from areas that may carry a high risk of myxomatosis/RVHD. All vegetation that you collect for your pet rabbit should be washed thoroughly before feeding.
To find more information about Myxomatosis, RVHD1 and RVHD2 please check out the link below!