This petition was submitted during the 2010–2015 Conservative – Liberal Democrat coalition government

Petition Introduce a code of practice for the welfare of domestic rabbits.

More details

We urge the government to introduce a code of practice for the welfare of domestic rabbits (as currently exists for dogs and cats).

Rabbits are the UK’s third most popular pet. An estimated 1.6 million are kept as pets. However, research has identified them to be the MOST neglected and cruelly treated of all pets:

SOMETHING HAS TO CHANGE! We must take action to reduce the widespread suffering of domestic rabbits. This must begin with changing the public perception of rabbits as ‘cheap’, ‘easy’ and even ‘disposable’ pets. In reality rabbits are sensitive, intelligent animals with complex needs. They can live in excess of ten years and deserve similar status/protection as the UK’s dogs and cats.

We need to challenge the unacceptable common place attitude of ‘it’s only a rabbit’. We believe that this should start by the government introducing a code of practice for the welfare of domestic rabbits.

This petition is closed This petition ran for 6 months

12,375 signatures


Government responded

This response was given on 16 October 2013

As this has received more than 10 000 signatures, the relevant Government department have provided the following response:

There are already a number of publications that provide guidance for owners, or potential owners, on how to keep rabbits in accordance with the Animal Welfare Act 2006. In addition, the Pet Advertising Advisory Group (PAAG – a group of animal welfare, veterinary groups and animal keeping interests) have produced standards for internet and classified publications that advertise pets for sale which will help to make more people aware of how to purchase and keep rabbits as required under the Animal Welfare Act 2006

This e-petition remains open to signatures and will be considered for debate by the Backbench Business Committee should it pass the 100 000 signature threshold.