2006 Animal Welfare Act Petition

Animal Welfare Act Petition Results

Animal Welfare Act 2006

Great News!

The original animal welfare act petition that Just Rabbits readers supported over the past year received a response.

Thanks go to everyone that supported the animal welfare act petition to have rabbits included the 2006 act and subsequently be considered for a more deserving status.

AND.......

We are very pleased to say that this animal welfare act petition received over 10,000 signatures!

This is a wonderful achievement and has made a huge difference.

(See, sometimes these things do work!)

And,

The government department responsible for acting on such petitions gave this response...

Just Rabbits ePetition

"As this has received more than 10 000 signatures, the relevant Government department have provided the following response:

There are already a number of publications that provide guidance for owners, or potential owners, on how to keep rabbits in accordance with the Animal Welfare Act 2006. In addition, the Pet Advertising Advisory Group (PAAG – a group of animal welfare, veterinary groups and animal keeping interests) have produced standards for internet and classified publications that advertise pets for sale which will help to make more people aware of how to purchase and keep rabbits as required under the Animal Welfare Act 2006

This e-petition remains open to signatures and will be considered for debate by the Backbench Business Committee should it pass the 100 000 signature threshold."

Note: Since the writing of that statement,
th
is animal welfare act petition petition is now closed.

You can see the response to this animal welfare act petition here...

Happy rabbit

So, Yes, Thank you.

Rabbits ARE included in the Act

Brilliant.

Erm,

but hang on...


The details are vague, at best.

Unhappy bunny


There are a few things that are open to speculation in the updated act

and

the codes of practice do not make it an illegal act if the guidelines are not followed.

Take a Closer Look

Here's an extract from the Animal Welfare Act 2006

13. Licensing or registration of activities involving animals

8)The appropriate national authority may by regulations repeal any of the following enactments (which impose licence or registration requirements in relation to activities involving animals) -
.......

(b)section 1(1) of the Pet Animals Act 1951 (c. 35);

Read the Full Animal Welfare Act 2006 here...
(pdf - opens in a new window)

In section 13, the wording is not clear or precise enough to affect any change in the current treatment and housing of pet rabbits.

Read & sign the Just Rabbits Animal Welfare Act Petition 2015

for the better treatment and understanding of domestic pet rabbits by detailed inclusion to the Animal Welfare Act 2006

The subsequent act to legislate any ambiguous code was actually written in 1951 and would not be relevant in today's society.

In 1951 rabbits were treated more as 'livestock' rather than domestic pets.

Housing and environments were not considered important.

Dogs, cats and horses were afforded much more attention and  have enjoyed a domesticated 'pet' status for many years.

How do we know this?

British citizens have considered it inhumane and cruel to eat horse, dog and cat meat for many years, yet rabbits continue to be bred as a food source despite them being widely recognised as Britain's third most popular pet.

And Consider this...

Rabbits in 1951

In 1951 Rabbit 'hutches' were no more than tea chests.

These chests were specifically provided to restrict movement.

Exercise was purposefully denied so the rabbit increased in weight and thus provided a more sizeable meat supply.

Look Back in Time

Here's an extract from the 1951 Pet Animals Act which forms part of the basic foundation of the 2006 act which still refers to it:

Pet Animals Act 1951
1951 CHAPTER 35 14 and 15 Geo 6

3) In determining whether to grant a licence for the keeping of a pet shop by any person at any premises, a local authority shall in particular (but without prejudice to their discretion to withhold a licence on other grounds) have regard to the need for Securing-

(a) that animals will at all times be kept in accommodation suitable as respects size, temperature, lighting, ventilation and cleanliness-,

(b) that animals will be adequately supplied with suitable food and drink and (so far as necessary) visited, at suitable intervals;

(c) that animals, being mammals, will not be sold at too early an age;

(d) that all reasonable precautions will be taken to prevent the spread among animals of infectious diseases;

(e) that appropriate steps will be taken in case of fire or other emergency;

and shall specify such conditions in the licence, if granted by them, as appear to the local authority necessary or expeaient in the particular case for securing all or any of the objects specified in paragraphs (a) to (e) of this subsection.

Read the Full Pet Animals Act 1951 here...
(pdf - opens in a new window)

What???

But this is just for Pet Shops!

Have I missed something here. (If I have, please someone enlighten me).

How can we enforce laws and codes of practise with this information as our core fundamental basis?

So - With all that in mind, lets get back to the Act...

There are a few things other things that don't quite add up...

How Old?!

Rabbit savvy vet

Scientific evidence shows that most varieties of rabbit, (aside from the Gigantus), should biologically live, most commonly, in to their teenage years.

Yet, despite the changes the animal welfare act petition brought about, STILL only a small percentage of domestic pet rabbits are actually achieving these long lifespans.

WHY????

When questioned, vetinarians were attributing the cause of death for many pet rabbits to be caused by two main factors:

  1. Diet

    and
  2. Environment.

But hang on, diet and environment are covered in the 2006 act.

Look at this extract from the 2006 act, Section 9;

Section from Animal Welfare Act 2006
Chapter 45
Section 9

Promotion of welfare

9. Duty of person responsible for animal to ensure welfare

(1) A person commits an offence if he does not take such steps as are reasonable in all the circumstances to ensure that the needs of an animal for which he is responsible are met to the extent required by good practice.

(2) For the purposes of this Act, an animal’s needs shall be taken to include -

(a) its need for a suitable environment,
(b) its need for a suitable diet,
(c) its need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns,
(d) any need it has to be housed with, or apart from, other animals, and
(e) its need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease.

(3) The circumstances to which it is relevant to have regard when applying subsection (1) include, in particular -

(a) any lawful purpose for which the animal is kept, and
(b) any lawful activity undertaken in relation to the animal.

(4) Nothing in this section applies to the destruction of an animal in an appropriate and humane manner.

Read the Full Animal Welfare Act 2006 here...
(pdf - opens in a new window)

So,HANG ON

Not much has changed from the 1951 act!

So What the...?

rabbit housing guidelines

If Britain's third most popular pet, is still not living to their full potential lifespan because of 'misunderstanding' and poor education, it therefore shows that existing legislation is NOT sufficient and additional, more detailed, guidelines, laws and codes of practice should be introduced and enforced as a matter of urgency.

OK,

So instead of moaning about it, lets take this as a perfect opportunity to manifest a change!

In fact it's wonderful because we can now include much more detail.

Instead of trying to preserve and add to a few bricks of a fallen outhouse we can now build a modern, impressive castle from the ground up, that will protect and enrich the lives of pet rabbits and their owners.

What to Do?

Read & sign the Just Rabbits Animal Welfare Act Petition 2015

for the better treatment and understanding of domestic pet rabbits by detailed inclusion to the Animal Welfare Act 2006

Let's look at the last line from the government response statement from the 2014 animal welfare act petition...

"...considered for debate by the Backbench Business Committee should it pass the 100 000 signature threshold."

Mmmm sounds promising...

OK,

Got it!

rabbit pals

100,000 signatures.

I'm sure there are 10 times that many rabbits on Twitter and Facebook, so surely we can do something about it, yes?!

This is great - we might be able to make a difference again.

So why not make the petition a little better and clearer so we can attain more positive results.

By positive results I don't just mean getting the act changed, I mean getting tangible results from the changes made.

Legislation that really works and has a significant affect on the health and happiness of misunderstood domestic rabbits everywhere?

Future Vet Quote?

Why not have our vets say;

"Since the updated animal welfare act 2006 (rabbit section), the overall health and lifespan of domestic pet rabbits has increased to meet their full potential in most cases.

Diet and lifestyle changes over the recent years has seen dramatic improvements to not only rabbit longevity but also their quality of life.

We are no longer treating any where near as many rabbits with bad diet or poor environment as causes of diseases and illness."

Grateful rabbit


Yes!

That's what I would like to read.

Would you?

Read & sign the Just Rabbits Animal Welfare Act Petition 2015
for the better treatment and understanding of domestic pet rabbits by detailed inclusion to the Animal Welfare Act 2006

You can add it to your list of good deeds you have done today, this week or even this month.

We thank you from all our hearts, and the bunnies thank you too!

For a more detailed look at all aspects of bunny health, diet, environment, companionship & longevity check out the revolutionary iRabbit READY System by Kerry Greener of Just Rabbits Limited

Animal Welfare Act Petition 2015

Code of Practice Inclusions to the
Animal Welfare Act 2006
for the Domestic Pet Rabbit

Here are the details of the new petition:

PROPOSAL OUTLINE: (To affect; Section 9 - Promotion of welfare: (1), (2), (2a), (2c), (2d) & 2e))

The inclusion of TWO, more descriptive, codes of practice, (not guidance publications) in the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

ACTION ONE: HOUSING & ENVIRONMENT

Make it a legal requirement that domestic pet rabbits, (kept outside in confinement), are housed in a home of no less than 6ft (Width) x 2ft (Depth) x 3ft (Height) and that this home also includes a secure run of no less than 6ft (Width) x 10ft (Length) x 3ft (Height).

BASIS:

Research has shown that pet rabbits develop bone and digestive problems when they are not allowed to move freely. A healthy functioning digestive system of a rabbit depends on extended times of vigorous movement (of no less than 4 hours daily). Digestive and bone problems also occur when rabbits are not given the freedom to stretch to maximum body height. The measurements above are the minimum sizes required to maintain the healthy functions of a domestic rabbit (between 3lbs and 12lbs).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


ACTION TWO: SOLITARY CONFINEMENT

Make it a legal requirement that domestic pet rabbits (not breeding stock), be kept with at least one other rabbit. Both of which should be spayed or neutered by a professional vetinarian. It should also be advised that rabbits in confinement, not be housed with other, different species. It should also be advised that any rabbit housed in confinement be allowed to interact/play with other rabbits and humans at least 4 hours every day.

BASIS:

Analysis of wild rabbits and domestic rabbits of fancy, (since the 19th Century), has indicated that a normal behaviour pattern found within all rabbits is the act of companionship. The freedom to express this companionship in heirarchical behaviour and expressions are vital to the longevity and overall happiness of any rabbit.


SUMMARY:

Documented evidence shows that most varieties of rabbit, (aside from the Gigantus varieties), should biologically live, most commonly in to their teenage years. Yet, only a small percentage of domestic pet rabbits actually achieve this. Vetinarians have attributed this short lifespan to two main factors: Diet and Environment.

The fact that Britain's third most popular pet, is still being abused, mistreated, neglected by way of 'misunderstanding' and poor education shows that existing legislation is NOT sufficient and additional, more detailed, guidelines, laws and codes of practice should be introduced and enforced as a matter of urgency.

I wrote all that and then they limited me to 1000 characters, darn it!

However, I managed to condense it and get the main points across hopefully.

Let me know what you think...

Read & sign the Just Rabbits
Animal Welfare Act Petition 2015

for the better treatment and understanding
of domestic pet rabbits by detailed inclusion
to the Animal Welfare Act 2006

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