It is the childhood ambition for many a budding naturalist, bringing Fluffy the rabbit into the home complete with its own purpose-built hutch By Mark Brown
But, according to the wildlife expert Chris Packham, the nation’s pet rabbits are hopping mad about their wooden homes.
Delivering a withering assessment at this weekend’s Hay literary festival of how we keep our pets, the BBC presenter said: “We don’t revise our ideas about animal husbandry quick enough. Rabbits are kept in hutches because we were growing them for food, not keeping them as pets.
“So if you’re not going to eat your rabbit, why not give it a better quality of life and not cram it in to a hutch where it is going to defecate on to a huge pile of its own defecate.
“It is not an ideal place, they need a place to run around. They are also highly social animals, they don’t really enjoy being kept on their own.”
“Just because they are rabbits doesn’t mean we ought to neglect their welfare and focus on cats and dogs. We’ve changed the way we keep cats and dogs ... well dogs any way. We don’t allow them to foul the streets, some of us don’t allow them to disturb ground nesting birds.” #LetterfromHome - Rabbits