Witness of mistreatment of dwarf rabbits
Julie Lambert, Paris, France
January 6, 2021
Animal abuse is unfortunately not that rare, even in developed countries there is an increasing incidence of animal abuse. Abuse does not only mean beating your animal. It can take many different forms such as poor living conditions, poor sanitary conditions, lack of care or food and even abandonment…But how do you recognise these situations and what do you do when you witness them?
01 – Abuse in the dwarf rabbit
The dwarf rabbit more than the dog or cat is an animal for which one must be particularly vigilant. Unlike a dog or a cat, a rabbit cannot make noise and therefore cannot warn in case of mistreatment. Moreover, due to its status as a prey in the wild, the dwarf rabbit will always try to hide its situation. A dwarf rabbit that is sick, undernourished or otherwise will only show it with great difficulty. This is why it is important to always be vigilant if you think a rabbit is being mistreated.
For information, here are a few examples of abusive situations: a rabbit living on a balcony or in a garden in full sun, with no place for shade and no food and/or water, is an abused animal. A rabbit living outside in winter without any shelter or straw is also an abused animal. A rabbit living in a dirty cage without any hygiene is also an abused rabbit.
Of course, a rabbit that does not receive care in case of illness, a rabbit that is not fed, a rabbit that is beaten or a rabbit that is abandoned is also an abused rabbit.
For animal welfare, it is important to know what to do in these situations so that you can act effectively and quickly.
02 – What to do in the case of abuse through involuntary neglect?
Very often dwarf rabbit owners do not learn enough about the living conditions of rabbits and the right methods to ensure their well-being. The best way to deal with these situations is to warn the owner and explain to him that his animal is suffering. You can also direct him to specialised books or sites so that he becomes aware of his mistakes and makes sure that they are not repeated.
03 – What to do in the case of abuse through wilful neglect?
If the neglect of a rabbit occurs regularly and the first method has not been successful, it may be necessary to notify the specialized associations and shelters, which often have investigators to report cases of abuse. For example, you can contact the Société de Protection des Animaux, the Association Brigitte Bardot in France or the Fondation d’Assistance aux Animaux.
If you have the opportunity, you can also collect photo and video evidence to share with associations and law enforcement agencies.
04 – What to do in case of violent abuse?
If you witness violence against an animal, it is urgent to inform the police as soon as possible so that they can intervene. You can also collect evidence to support your testimony.
If you witness violence against animals on the internet or on social networks, you can report these behaviours via the reporting platforms or on the state website www.internet-signalement.gouv.fr (only for France).