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Last Updated: Sunday December 10 2006 13:16 GMT

Rabbits are worst treated pets

A rabbit

Rabbits are most badly treated pets in England and Wales according to a survey by the RSPCA.

Rabbits are the third most popular pet in the UK, but 35,000 of them are abandoned every year, some just months after being bought.

The RSPCA found that seven of every 10 rabbits they rescue spend every hour of every day stuck inside their hutches.

Four out of 10 rescued bunnies didn't have food and the RSPCA want people to think more before they get one.

The animal welfare charity said most of the abandoned rabbits they find have only been with a family for three months.

A cat
Anne Mitchell from the Rabbit Welfare Association said: "You can't treat it like Barbie doll and Action Man and just stuff it in the cupboard under the stairs.

"Sadly some of these rabbits do end up like that, totally neglected, no-one spends any time with them at all, they're just at the end of the garden like a living ornament"

She added that it's important to know that the animals can live for up to eight years and cost 4,000 over their lifetime.

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