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Charities announce strategy for rabbit welfare
RWAF have called rabbits 'the nation's most misunderstood pet'.
The ten-point action plan identifies common health and welfare problems.

Animal welfare charities have called on organisations to ‘work together’, as they release their strategy for improving rabbit welfare.

The Rabbit Welfare Strategy has been developed by the Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund (RWAF) and the RSPCA to address common health and welfare problems.

The strategy provides a ten-point action plan, designed to support organisations with improving the wellbeing of rabbits and considering their five welfare needs. It also hopes to balance demand and supply, and reduce the strain on rescue facilities.

The plan calls for further study into rabbit needs, and a communication of evidence-based findings and consensus expert opinion to rabbit owners and breeders.

The charities also want to encourage retailers to offer welfare-compatible products and advice. They say retailers should be trained to provide optimal advice on meeting rabbit welfare needs.

Organisations are asked to work together to overcome emerging welfare problems, and to encourage the development of appropriate secondary legislation, such as Codes of Practice.

RWAF have called rabbits ‘the nation’s most understood pets’. It says that many pet rabbits are still being housed singly, with unsuitable housing or diets.

In 2020, rabbits were the third most popular pet in the UK.

However, research conducted by the PDSA in 2011 described rabbits as the most neglected species compared to dogs and cats.

Richard Saunders, a vet specialist advisor at RWAF, said: “Rabbits are the third most commonly kept mammalian pet, and yet one of the most neglected companion animals in the UK. We hope that this rabbit strategy gives a clear roadmap for how their care and welfare can be improved over the short- and long-term future.

“We are extremely grateful to all the organisations and other stakeholders who have been involved in this document, and who have committed to taking positive action for rabbits.”

The ten-point strategy plan can be found here.

Image © Shutterstock

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Special imports digital service set to change

News Story 1
 From Monday, 15 July, Special Import Certificate (SIC) applications will only be accepted via the Veterinary Medicines Directorate's (VMD's) new special imports digital service.

The original online special import scheme will be decommissioned. The VMD says that the new service is easier to use, more secure and reliable, and meets accessibility legislation.

The VMD is urging veterinary surgeons who have not yet signed up for the new service to do so before 15 July. The new digital service can be accessed here

Click here for more...
News Shorts
RCVS course explains concerns process

A free, online course from the RCVS Academy has been launched, designed to clarify RCVS' concerns procedure.

The content will give veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses a better understanding of the process, and what they can expect if a concern is raised about them. It includes details of common concerns.

The interactive resource has been developed in collaboration with Clare Stringfellow, case manager in the RCVS Professional Conduct Team.

Ms Stringfellow said: "We appreciate that concerns can be very worrying, and we hope that, through this course, we can give vets and nurses a better understanding of the process and how to obtain additional support."

The course can be accessed via the RCVS Academy. Users are encouraged to record their learning for CPD.