Please show respect and care for rabbits

The reason behind International Rabbit Day (September 28) is to make us aware that rabbits are particularly social intelligent creatures, whether wild or domesticated.

Knowing International Rabbit Day was coming up at the end of the month, I went to see the Still-life Impressionist painting “The Rabbit” by Manet in the National Museum Wales. This is not a pleasant painting to look at, as it depicts a dead rabbit that has been hunted and hung up in a pantry as game.

The painting in the gallery reminded me of how we, as human beings, put ourselves at the top of the food chain and consider other life forms to be there for our convenience and entertainment.

I’m glad rabbits, these days, however, hold more of a special place in our hearts as companions rather than as a source of food, or as a pest to be destroyed. If you do have a rabbit, please take special care of it and never leave it for long periods of time as they form a bond with their human family and become anxious.

Looking after a rabbit is one of the most pleasurable joys in life. They have amazing, quirky habits, such as jumping “binkies” which always reminded me of the wild rabbits jumping amongst the barley fields.

To finish with some good advice – if your rabbit feels the cold in the winter, give them a nice hot water bottle and they will sit there, stretched out on it for hours on end, with the most contented look on their faces.

Lorraine Parker, Much Wenlock

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