It is well documented that the issue of impulse buying of rabbits can lead to a significant number of rabbits being surrendered to rescue – or worse, neglected or dumped to face an almost certain death.
The Make Mine Chocolate! UK Rescue survey revealed that around 60% of rabbits entering rescue in the UK were owned for less than a year before surrender – with a staggering 40% of these being owned for less than six months.
At the time, the Rabbit Welfare Association estimated there were around 35,000 rabbits passing through rescue each year, but in 2013 they revised this figure up to an estimated 67,000 rabbit passing through rescue annually. This suggests that around 42,000 rabbits are being given up each and every year, and that owners often do not fully consider the long term commitment before acquiring their rabbits.
As the most common route of rabbit acquisition is the pet shop, and the most common time to obtain a rabbit is from spring on-wards (most particularly at Easter) Make Mine Chocolate! UK have created the unique and ground-breaking Rabbit Sale Easter Amnesty project to help address this issue.
The Easter Amnesty Project enlists the support of pet shops throughout the UK during the two week Easter period to help with educating potential new owners, and providing both an opportunity to consider the long term commitment before purchase and extensive educational material to help with long term care afterwards if rabbits are obtained.
For the pet shop, inclusion to the Easter Amnesty Project promotes their own rabbit welfare credentials, helps to forge a positive dialogue with potential and existing customers, as well as the wider local community, and helps to further promote rabbit welfare within the UK.
All activities of which are good for business … and great for rabbit welfare too!
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