U.K. Animal Group Rescues 47 Giant Rabbits it Believes Were Bred to Be Eaten

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RSPCA Rescued Dozens of Giant Rabbits Believed to be Bred for Meat
RSPCA Rescued Dozens of Giant Rabbits Believed to be Bred for Meat

Courtesy of RSPCA Giant rabbit rescued in England

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) rescued forty-seven rather large rabbits from a property in England this month after learning about the bunnies' living conditions.

In a press release, the RSPCA explained rescuers visited the property in Northumberland on July 11 after receiving reports about neglected rabbits at the location. RSPCA officials found "small, dirty hutches full of rabbits who had been left to breed with each other" at the reported location, according to the organization's release.

The RSPCA ended up pulling 47 rabbits, many of them Flemish giant rabbits, from the property. Since the rescue, the rabbits' care has been signed over to the RSPCA. The bunnies are now at "a mixture of centers, branches, and licensed establishments, as well as some being looked after by inspectors — to make sure they get the best care possible," per the RSPCA.

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The largest of the rabbits rescued from the sizable group weighed about 8 kilograms — over 17 pounds, which is comparable to the size of a Jack Russell terrier. The bunny also had seven-inch-long ears.

"Although often kept as pets, Flemish giant rabbits are still bred by some for their fur and their meat, and it is believed these rabbits were being bred to be eaten," RSPCA stated in its release.

Inspector Trevor Walker, who helped rescue the rabbits, added, "These poor rabbits were living in cramped and dirty conditions, which would have been very unpleasant for them, especially in the heat."

Walker said that a veterinarian found the rabbits to be in relatively good condition, and now the RSPCA is focused on finding the animals forever homes. According to the organization, half the rescued rabbits are adults, and half are still babies.

"They will make good companion animals as they have a nice temperament," Walker said.

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"Sadly, rabbits are becoming an increasing problem across the RSPCA as we are seeing more and more coming into our care, many as a result of the cost of living crisis," he continued. "We would really urge people to do their research before taking on a pet and also to make sure you get your pet neutered at an early opportunity to prevent unwanted litters of animals — all of these rabbits will be neutered, microchipped, and vaccinated before finding new homes."

According to the RSPCA, the organization has seen a 49% increase in rabbits coming into their care in the first five months of 2022.