I think we often underestimate the benefits that pets can bring to children. I often reflect about how my two boys benefitted immensely from our lovely cat Charlie - sadly no longer with us. He was an elderly stray cat we adopted and he showed them how you had to be tolerant and respect a pet's needs. In return Charlie offered devotion and a listening ear when life was 'unfair'.
It would certainly be illegal. In the UK it's against the law to keep British wild birds in a cage. But caging non-native species like budgerigars and other parrots? That's legal. Goldfinches - Siberian, Himalayan, Gouldian or zebra? That too is sanctioned by law. But the UK's European goldfinch? If you confined one of those you could be prosecuted.
You may be shocked to find out that not all vets are well trained in rabbits (many can have as little as a two week slot for exotics as a whole including reptiles, birds and small furries). This means that the majority of vets out there have very little knowledge of rabbits needs, behaviours, ailments and how to treat them correctly.
Rabbits are the third most popular pet in the UK, with an estimated 1.6 million kept in and outside of our homes. They are also the most neglected and mistreated animal companion in the nation. Out-dated preconceptions that rabbits are hutch loving, carrot crunching, cheap, small-child friendly pets is largely to blame.
Warmer weather and lighter evenings mean more time spent enjoying our gardens, starting off with simple tasks such as weeding and planting. But it's important to remember that while many of the plants that we commonly keep are beautiful to look at - they're also capable of causing serious damage to the health of our precious pets.
The benefits for animals are very significant - anyone who is aware of the infamous Draize Eye test that forces shampoo into rabbits' eyes over several days will appreciate that change was overdue, especially as the non-animal alternative tests often have a better predictive value for actual human reactions.