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Home Industry News BVA criticises lack of rabbit welfare code

BVA criticises lack of rabbit welfare code

8th March 2011

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has underlined the potential importance of introducing a code of practice on the welfare of pet rabbits in the UK.

Concerns have been raised by the organisation after government minister James Paice confirmed in a recent parliamentary discussion that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has no current plans to introduce such legislation.

Defra argues that the Animal Welfare Act of 2006 is sufficient to offer the necessary level of protection, but BVA president Harvey Locke warned that despite this, many rabbits are being fed improper diets or deprived of the companionship they require.

He highlighted the Welsh Assembly Government's recent code of practice, entitled 'How to look after your rabbit', as a good example for Defra to follow.

"The government has missed an opportunity to educate owners about responsible rabbit ownership and improve the health and welfare of the UK's third most popular pet," Mr Locke added.

Last month, the BVA welcomed the government's decision to oppose a proposed delay on new legislation banning the use of battery cages in chicken farms.ADNFCR-8000103-ID-800449417-ADNFCR

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