The RSPCA has rescued 47 giant rabbits, after reports found the animals were being kept in unsuitable conditions.
The Flemish rabbits, with the largest weighing in excess of 8kg, were found in small, dirty hutches at an allotment in Ashington, Northumberland. Sadly, they were left to breed with one another by previous owners and were being kept to be eaten.
While these rabbits are often kept as pets, many of them are still bred by some for their fur and meat. One of the animals was the same size as a Jack Russell Terrier or King Charles Spaniel, and had ears that were seven inches long.
"These poor rabbits were living in cramped and dirty conditions which would have been very unpleasant for them especially in the heat," says inspector Trevor Walker, who helped to care for the rabbits when they were taken in.
"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."
Trevor explained that sadly rabbits are becoming an increasing problem across the RSPCA, with many owners struggling to care for them amid the cost of living crisis.
He adds: "We would really urge people to do their research before taking on a pet and also to make sure you get your pet neutered at an early opportunity to prevent unwanted litters of animals — all of these rabbits will be neutered, microchipped and vaccinated before finding new homes.
"If anyone is concerned about the welfare of an animal they can ring the RSPCA on 03001234999."
While the rabbits are not yet up for adoption, the animal welfare charity says to keep an eye open on their website for further information. We hope they find a loving home soon.
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