A Preliminary internet survey of pet rabbit owners’ characteristics
Keywords:animal welfare, insurance, microchipping, laws, owners, rabbit
This study aimed to conduct a preliminary survey to investigate basic ownership factors, frequency of microchipping and insurance and views of pet rabbit owners n these areas and general rabbit management. More specifically, we aimed to investigate whether owners possess insurance, whether their rabbits are microchipped, and owners’ views on the recommendations relating to rabbits (e.g. recommended enclosure sizes) and the law. A questionnaire was designed and promulgated through social media sites and rabbit forums. A total of 1183 responses were received. Just over 29% of respondents sourced their rabbits through rescue centres. 73.9% (867/1174) of owners stated that they had no pet insurance for their rabbits. Concerning microchips, 78.3% (919/1173) of rabbits were not microchipped, while 21.7% (254/1173) were. This preliminary study found that the majority of individuals are of the opinion that the relevant law is insufficiently publicised. A more detailed study would be beneficial to investigate and provide further insight into rabbit owners and their views and concerns for rabbits. The results of such a study could help formulate rabbit-related information and guidelines which in turn could have a direct impact on pet rabbit welfare.
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