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Bunnies are for life... not just for Easter - and why you shouldn't feed them carrots

By Kirsten Elder

Published 03/04/2015

A leading animal charity is warning that a bunny is for life, not just for Easter.

Assisi Animal Sanctuary says there is an annual surge in interest in rabbits at this time of year - but people don't realise they live for up to 10 years and are a major welfare commitment.

Cerys Brown, Animal Welfare Assistant at Co Down-based Assisi, said: “We have been very busy with children being off school, parents want to bring their children up and look at the rabbits, we wouldn’t advise buying a rabbit as a pet for a child as they need a lot of care and company.”

The animals have a long life span, living on average for ten-years, Cerys said, adding: “that is a long commitment, and many people think they only live for a couple of years, this is not the case.”

“If you are buying a rabbit, we advise you get two as they need company, human affection is not enough.”

Rabbits can suffer from depression when they live alone, they are also non-vocal animals so express how they feel through their body language.

The condition is referred to ‘bugsy alone syndrome’ this is why ASSISI are trying to get the message across that rabbits need to be kept in pairs.

Unlike some of our favourite cartoon characters such as Bugs Bunny, rabbits are not a big fan of carrots as they are full of sugar and they may get too much in their diet if they are feed too many.

Cerys said: “Feed them lots of herbs, green vegetables such as parsley, fruit and carrots are OK for a treat but not for everyday.”

Rabbit hutches need cleaned out at least once a day as they ‘poo a lot’. They also need fed at least twice a day and should have an unlimited supply of hay.

Assisi currently has 30 rabbits at the Conlig shelter that need re-homed.

Cerys said: “I would love to be able to help everyone who needs to rehome a rabbit, but unfortunately until we get some of our rabbits rehomed we can’t help anyone else at this time.”

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