Averting rabbit bond breakdowns

27 Jun 2020

Bradbury, G., Saunders, R.

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The Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund (RWAF) has recently completed a survey of 1200 owners, 80 veterinary professionals and those working for 25 rescue centres on rabbit bonding practices, success factors and breakdowns. The results are now available.1 We would like to highlight three findings.

The bonds between male and female rabbits are the easiest to form, least likely to require temporary separation and by far the least likely to break down to a point where one rabbit needs rehoming.

Many rabbit bonds do break down. Forty per cent of owners have separated rabbits in an attempt to prevent injury, and 12 per cent of vets have had to euthanase rabbits following a fight between ‘bonded’ companions. Restricted space and not being neutered are known to be risk factors for aggression between rabbits. However, in this sample (comprising motivated owners), the majority of rabbit pairs that required...