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Rescue centre creates bunny ball pit to promote rabbit enrichment
Himalayan lionhead rabbit Princess enjoying the ball pit.

RSPCA Danaher offers plenty to entertain its smaller residents

An RSPCA rescue centre in Essex has come up with a novel way to keep its smaller residents entertained.

The Danaher Animal Home in Wethersfield is highlighting the importance of rabbit enrichment by showing off its bunny ball pit. Filled with dozens of colourful plastic balls, it’s already being enjoyed by Himalayan lionhead rabbit Princess, who has been in the care of the RSPCA since March.

And that’s not the only activity keeping the resident rabbits in good spirits. Animal centre manager Debs Satchell said that whether it’s cubes or tubes, cardboard boxes or shop-bought brain-stimulating puzzles, there is plenty to keep smaller animals entertained.

“We try to offer the smaller residents at Danaher plenty to keep their minds occupied and try to change the enrichments we provide them with regularly to avoid them becoming bored,” said Debs.

RSPCA’s rabbit and rodent welfare expert Dr Jane Tyson explained that rabbits are one of the UK’s most misunderstood pets who are all too often consigned to the end of the garden in a hutch alone.

“Whilst not all rabbits will enjoy being in a ball pit, for those that do, this can be great enrichment and owners can scatter some tasty, healthy treats in the pit for the rabbits to find,” she said.

“It is important they are never forced to enter a ball pit and are always able to escape. They should also always be supervised whilst in the ball pit to ensure they don't hurt themselves or start to nibble on the balls which could be dangerous.”

Image (C) RSPCA

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Zoo animals step on the scales for annual weigh-in

News Story 1
 Squirrel monkeys, penguins and meerkats are just some of the animals that stepped on the scales on Thursday (22 August) for the start of ZSL London Zoo’s annual weigh-in.

The annual event gives keepers a chance to check the animals in their care are healthy, eating well and growing at the correct weight. Keepers say that a growing waistline can also help them to detect pregnancies, which is vital as many of the species at the zoo are endangered.

The data is then added to a database shared with zoos and conservationists across the globe. This helps keepers to compare information and provide better care for the species they are fighting to protect.  

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News Shorts
Professor Abdul Rahman announced as keynote speaker for BVA Members’ Day 2019

Celebrated Indian vet and parasitologist Professor Abdul Rahman is set to deliver the keynote speech at BVA Members’ Day 2019.

Professor Rahman will present his insights into the human behaviour challenges of controlling zoonotic disease in his talk: ‘A One Health approach to rabies elimination in Asia’. The talk will outline efforts to gain political support for dog vaccination programmes in China, as well as the need for a collaborative approach between vets, public health, livestock and animal welfare agencies.

The event takes place on Thursday, 19 September at Brangwyn Hall, Swansea. Tickets are free but must be reserved through the BVA website as places are limited.