Happy New Year! I can’t pretend I’m in to the traditions of celebrating Chinese New Year, but what a brilliant excuse to celebrate the rabbit. This chinese year is the year of the rabbit.

There is of course a growing concern among rabbit rescues and welfare organisations that the increased hype may result in an increase in impulse buying of pet rabbits, which will undoubtedly result in an increase of unwanted rabbits shortly after.

Today, I wanted to share another “”Make Mine Chocolate”” campaign press release with you on the topic.

With over a 6th of the world’s population, and around 1/2 a million in the UK celebrating the Chinese New Year of the Rabbit, rescues across the UK are bracing themselves for a surge in unwanted rabbits once the celebrations are over.

News wires Reuters, CNN, The Associated Press and others have already reported a brisk sale of rabbits in some parts, and although the coming of the Chinese New Year will be less marked here in the UK, there is no doubt that ‘rabbit fever’ will strike some who will become enchanted by the many images of cute and fluffy bunnies or their association with good fortune.

“”Sadly it’s an inevitability””, reports rescue owner Helen Halliday. “”Any time an animal is featured prominently in the media, people want them and simply go out and buy one without a thought for the long term consequences. Contrary to popular belief (and some comments in recent news reports), rabbits are not easy to care for; they require a great deal of attention, time and money.””

“”We are beginning to see a significant rise in admissions following Christmas, and we’ll see the same after both the Chinese New Year and also Easter”” Helen continues “”They strain on rescues is overwhelming. Many rescues have waiting lists of rabbits needing to be admitted which is already greater than the capacity of the rescue! People need to realise that buying a live animal really is a big deal, and they should research it thoroughly before taking on the commitment.””