The Blog

Pound Stretcher's Rabbit Prison Exposed

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.

"For just £129.99 you too could be the proud owner of a 'Deluxe' rabbit prison. Oh wait, why would you want to be?"

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. According to the (Rabbit Welfare Association Fund) RWAF an estimated 67,000 unwanted rabbits pass through rescues every year.

In this guest article, I am proud to share and support "EXPOSE: Pound Stretcher's Rabbit Prison", written by veterinary nurse and RWAF volunteer outreach officer, Jo Hinde. (first published at www.rabbitawareness.co.uk)

"This awful enclosure was spotted in a Pound Stretcher branch a few days ago. They have a specific part of the store called The Pet Hut which stocks all sorts of bits and bobs for your companion animals. Every penny counts, but apparently rabbit welfare does not.

Smaller than a laboratory rabbits enclosure - this horrible prison is being marketed as a top end treat for your cherished pet. Personally - I don't even think this is a suitable size to house rats in let alone rabbits. It does not allow a rabbit to participate in its 5 Freedoms (breaking points 2, 4 and 5).

Not only is it TINY! (approximately 2 feet square) the ramps are so steep and it looks like it has a wire bottom floor. Not good. Most average rabbits couldn't sit in this comfortably let alone live in it with their friend (as rabbits should live in bonded, neutered pairs).

Many complaints have been made to Pound Stretchers Facebook page but unfortunately, rather than replying, they are deleting the majority of the comments. Others are e-mailing the head office and a lucky few have received this reply:

"The Rabbit Hutch has been sourced for our stores from a UK supplier. The legal size requirement for this product has been met by the manufacturer as well as the organizations who set the guidelines.

We have made a decision to not purchase this product in the future for our stores.

Thank you for your time.

Poundstretcher"

Sounds like a cop out to me. Interestingly enough, they have not responded to my questions:

1) Will this item be removed from stock immediately or will it be discounted and placed on sale?

2) What resource did you use for the 'legal size requirement' and which organisations did you contact?

3) Do you currently stock any other hutches that are 4ft or smaller?

The Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund are the UK's leading source of rabbit advice. Funnily enough, they were not contacted by Pound Stretchers with regards to minimum housing guidelines.

They run the 'A Hutch Is Not Enough' campaign which strives to educate manufacturers, retailers and the general public as to what enclosures rabbits need to live a happy and healthy life. Their current MINIMUM guidelines clearly state that the hutch / cage should be at least 6ft x 2ft x 2ft with full time access to an attached run that should be at least 8ft x 4ft.

If you feel, like I do, that Pound Stretchers are promoting animal cruelty by selling this horrendous rabbit prison then please consider doing one or all of the following:

1) Leave a complaint on their Facebook page

2) Leave a 1 star review on their Facebook page

3) Email your complaint to Pound Stretchers

4) Email your complaint to The Pet Hut

5) Boycott your local store

Please do let me know (by using the comments section) if you get any replies."

Please share widely. Together we can make a difference.