Friday, November 28, 2008

Exciting breakthrough for US rabbits

Petco, one of the major US petstore chains, has announced that plans to phase out sales of pet rabbits in favour of in-store adoptions from rescue organisations. As in this country, rabbits are the third most popular pet in the States, and a huge headache for welfare organisations because so many become unwanted when buyers find out how expensive and difficult it can be to care for them properly. 

Unlike cats and dogs, low-cost spay/neuter provision for pet owners doesn't help very much because the majority of unwanted rabbits are not the result of unwanted litters born to pets, but the result of purchases of animals deliberately bred for the pet trade. If this comes off, it should be an important step in bringing the productivity of the rabbit population in line with the availability of good homes.  I believe it has the potential to be a win/win situation because rabbits are cheap, but the kit you need to keep them properly is expensive, to say nothing of vaccination, parasite treatment, etc. etc. Hopefully, PETCO will end up with a smaller number of genuine rabbit enthusiasts who spend more per individual rabbit owned.

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