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Practices urged to get involved with Rabbit Awareness Week
Forty-two per cent of veterinary professionals felt diet was a top five welfare issue for rabbits.

This year’s theme is ‘Healthy Diet, Happy Bunnies’.

The organisers behind Rabbit Awareness Week (RAW) have released a free veterinary resource pack, as they urge practices to discuss rabbit diets with clients.

The theme of this year’s RAW, which runs from 24-28 June, is ‘Healthy Diet, Happy Bunnies’.

Practices across the UK will be educating clients about the importance of a healthy diet for rabbits, and the health problems that can result from a poor diet.

The topic follows the publication of the PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report, which revealed that only 73 per cent of owners feed their rabbit hay as its main food. Not feeding rabbits enough hay can be linked to rabbit obesity, and can also affect their natural behaviours.

Instead, 13 per cent of rabbit owners were giving their rabbit a muesli mix as its main type of food.

Feeding rabbits muesli-based diets is linked to several different health problems, including obesity, dental disease and gastrointestinal disease. It can also reduce a rabbit’s water intake.

The PAW report found that 42 per cent of veterinary professionals considered diet to be among the top five welfare issues affecting rabbits.

The free RAW resource pack provides practices with a collection of rabbit care guides, health logs and printable posters that they can use throughout the week. It also provides other tips and advice on neutering, environment and companionship.

This is the 18th year of the campaign, led by Burgess Pet Care, which is supported by the RSPCA, Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund, Woodgreen Pets Charity, Blue Cross and Raystede. It is also endorsed by the British Small Animal Veterinary Association.

Suzanne Moyes, deputy managing director and in-house veterinary surgeon at Burgess Pet Care, said: “The good news is our research found that 98 per cent of vets believe RAW continues to have a positive impact on the care of the UK’s pet rabbits. However, as the latest PAW report shows, there’s still work to be done to educate owners about rabbits’ diet and other key welfare needs.

“This is why we’re committed to helping these unique creatures live the happy life they deserve.”

The resource pack can be downloaded for free 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.