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Review highlights need for rabbit breeding guidance
Rabbits are the third most popular pet in the UK, however, there are currently no government recommendations around the breeding of pet rabbits.

SRUC researchers find UK legislation surrounding rabbits is lacking.

A recent review by Scotland's Rural College (SRUC) has revealed that pet rabbits are under-represented in most legislation.

The college conducted a review of animal welfare legislation in the UK, highlighting the difference in government guidelines across the country, as well as the areas in need of improvement.

The review showed that pet legislation generally focuses on commercial activities involving animals, such as pet sales, boarding or exhibitions. Particular focus has also been given to the regulation of dog breeding.

According to  SRUC, the most consistent omission in legislation was the lack of guidance regarding breeding pet rabbits.

England currently does not have codes of practice for pet rabbits and owners are often referred to farmed rabbit codes. In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, codes of practice refer to the general care and management of pet rabbits, but do not give recommendations on appropriate breeding management.

SRUC researcher Laura Dixon said: “Rabbits are the third most popular pet in the UK and while charity organisations like the RWAF and RSPCA have guidance on housing and management, there are no government recommendations for breeding pet rabbits, only for lab and meat rabbits.

“Being housed in unsuitable environments can cause stress and frustration leading to, or exacerbating, behavioural problems, such as fur pulling or bar biting. It can also lead to increased obesity and decreased bone strength due to lack of exercise.

“We’re hoping that by illustrating the inequality for pet rabbits, this will prompt the different governments to draft guidance for breeding pet rabbits.”

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Webinar to focus on equine worm control

News Story 1
 Vets, veterinary nurses and RAMAs are being invited to join a free CPD webinar on late winter and early spring equine worm control.

Hosted by Zoetis vet Dr Wendy Talbot, the webinar aims to help prescribers understand which parasites are of most concern at this time of year. It will also cover how to assess parasite risk, selecting a suitable wormer and spring wormer plans, concluding with a Q&A session.

The webinar takes place on Thursday, 18 March at 10 am and will be repeated at 7 pm for those unable to listen during the day. To book the 10 am webinar, click here, and to register for the 7 pm webinar, click here

Click here for more...
News Shorts
Avian influenza confirmed in Lancashire

A case of highly pathogenic (HPAI H5N8) avian influenza has been confirmed in two captive peregrine falcons on a non-commercial, non-poultry premises near Skelmersdale, West Lancashire.

Following a risk assessment, APHA has declared that no disease control zones have been put in place surrounding this non-commercial, non-poultry premises.

Eighteen cases of HPAI H5N8 have now been identified in poultry and other captive birds in England. A housing order for poultry and captive birds introduced by Defra to control the spread of the disease expired on 31 March, although bird keepers in England are still required by law to comply with biosecurity measures.

For more information, please click here.