Table 3

Ranked welfare priority issues of companion animals for individual rabbits (severity and duration) and for the pet rabbit population (prevalence), as derived from the Workshop

SpeciesRankingPriority welfare issues
Severity + durationPrevalence
Rabbits1Lack of socialisation/handlingInadequacy of housing/environment
2Failure to vaccinateLack of socialisation/handling
3Reduced life expectancyInadequacy of diet (can lead to dental issues and obesity)
4Lack of owner/vet knowledge on basic rabbit behaviour and health (and recognition of diseases/pain)Lack of prepurchase research by new owners
5Rabbits regarded as cheap/replaceable petsReduced life expectancy
6Inadequacy of diet (can lead to dental issues and obesity)Failure to vaccinate
7Inadequacy of housing/environmentRabbits regarded as cheap/replaceable pets
8Lack of research/knowledge on rabbit health/welfare by owners/caretakersLack of recognition of pain behaviour