The PDSA PAW Report 2012: Is Rabbit Welfare Improving?

A few days ago we shared with you the press release from Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund that demonstrates that issue of unwanted rabbits in the UK has doubled from our previous estimates, with the latest figure showing around 67,000 rabbits passing through rescue services like ours across the UK every year.

The PDSA have also released their annual PAW report this week which looks into the issue of rabbit welfare in a lot more detail.

It shows that only 4% of households in Britain report to owning a rabbit. But this still makes it our 3rd most popular pet, and results in an estimate of 1.7 million pet rabbits in the UK.

Diet analysis shows that 44% of rabbit owners still feed their rabbit muesli based foods as opposed to pellets, but 36% don’t provide enough daily access to hay (this is improved since last years report!).

Another interesting highlight from the report relates to the estimated cost of rabbit ownership. When asked to estimate the lifetime ownership cost of a rabbit 81% of owners estimates less than £1,000. The actual lifetime cost is closer to £9,000, with only around 1% of respondents guessing within that region.

In a more positive note it would appear, in terms of the findings of this report, that rabbit welfare is slightly improving. There’s a long, long way to go, but for us this is at least a glimmer of hope that we are making a difference.

We won’t reveal all the facts of the report, but we do thoroughly recommend reading it, especially if you also own or have an interest in cat and dog welfare too.

To access the PDSA PAW Report 2012, visit