Hoppy news! Giant rabbits rescued in Northumberland

·2-min read
RSPCA/Cover Images

The RSPCA was called to an allotment in Ashington, Northumberland, on 11 July 2022 after receiving reports that rabbits were being kept in unsuitable conditions.

When RSPCA officers attended the allotments, where the rabbits were being kept, they found small, dirty hutches full of rabbits - 47 in total - who had been left to breed with each other.

The largest rabbit weighed in excess of 8kg - the same as a medium-sized dog such as a Jack Russell Terrier or King Charles Spaniel - and had ears that were seven inches long.

Although often kept as pets, Flemish giant rabbits are still bred by some for their fur and their meat and it is believed these rabbits were being bred to be eaten. They have now been signed over into RSPCA care.

Inspector Trevor Walker, who helped to rescue the rabbits over the following days, said: "These poor rabbits were living in cramped and dirty conditions which would have been very unpleasant for them especially in the heat.

"Luckily a vet found they are all in good condition, one is on medication for weepy eyes and a wound on the back of his neck, but we hope they will find loving homes. They will make good companion animals as they have a nice temperament.

"Sadly, rabbits are becoming an increasing problem across the RSPCA as we are seeing more and more coming into our care, many as a result of the cost of living crisis."

Around half of the rabbits were adults. Two of the adults were of average size but their litters were crossed with the giant breeds, so the babies will likely grow into larger rabbits than most.

The rabbits have been networked across the RSPCA to a mixture of centres, branches and licensed establishments, as well as some being looked after by inspectors - to make sure they get the best care possible. Many RSPCA centres are sadly already full of unwanted rabbits.

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