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Julia’s Weekly Column For The Middy – Do you know a bunny that is getting a ‘raw’ deal?

Rabbits are the fourth most popular pets in the UK with approximately 800,000 being kept domestically. But they do not always live in homes that fully understand their needs. Some get a ‘raw’ deal, which is why the Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund (RWAF) and its partners created RAW – Rabbit Awareness Week.

Now in its 10th year, RAW runs until 26th June 2016, and my team at The Mewes Vets have supported it with enthusiasm as we have a tender spot for these sensitive little creatures.

If you or a friend of yours has a rabbit that has not seen a Vet for a while – or even not at all – then there is still time to a book a free rabbit health check with us by calling 01444 456886 before 25th June.

This year RAW are focusing on the message that rabbits are social creatures. They should not be kept alone, but prefer to live with a buddy. If you would like to become part of the campaign to see bunnies get a better deal, you could search #buddiesforbunnies to see what is going on.

Introducing a new buddy to an adult rabbit can be problematic – they certainly can and do get into fights – but it is possible, with care. I suggest that you come and talk to one of my caring RVNs (Registered Veterinary Nurses) first, as we can provide help and advice.

Did you know that a wild rabbit’s territory is usually about the size of 30 tennis courts? And that their teeth can kill them if they fail to eat enough roughage to keep them in check? You can find out more at the RAW website – www.rabbitawarenessweek.co.uk

Rabbits have five Welfare Needs that RAW has identified of being of vital importance: the need for space to explore and exercise in; the need for a diet containing at least 80% fibre; the need to forage, explore and use their intelligence; the need for companionship; and the need to kept free from preventable illnesses.

We encourage you to pass this message on to all your rabbit owning friends. Feel free to check out the RAW website – you may learn something new and exciting about your pet. And don’t forget to phone The Mewes Vets to book a complimentary health check, where we can also answer any questions about looking after and feeding your rabbit. Simply call us on 01444 456886.

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