RSPCA rescues giant rabbits from Ashington allotment

Giant rabbits weighing the same as a Jack Russell Terrier have been taken into the RSPCA’s care.

Friday, 22nd July 2022, 2:24 pm
Updated Friday, 22nd July 2022, 2:25 pm

The animal welfare charity stepped in after receiving reports of rabbits were being kept in unsuitable conditions at an Ashington allotment.

RSPCA officers attended on July 11 and found small, dirty hutches full of rabbits which had been left to breed with each other.

The largest rabbit weighed in excess of 8kg - the same as a medium-sized dog - and had ears that were seven inches long.

Two of the giant rabbits taken into the RSPCA's care.

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.

Inspector Trevor Walker who helped to rescue 47 rabbits 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.

One of the rabbits had seven inch long ears.

“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.

“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 0300 123 4999.”

Anyone interested in rehoming the rabbits should keep an eye on www.rspca.org.uk/findapet.

The largest rabbit weighed over 8kg.

Around half the rabbits were adults and half babies, 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.