Hawkins, P., Hubrecht, R., Buckwell, A. et al. 2008. Refining Rabbit Care: A Resource for Those Working With Rabbits in Research. UFAW/RSPCA: Southwater, UK, 27 pp.

The report sets out how to provide: optimal enclosure characteristicsand size; social housing; solid flooring and substrate; raised areas; refuges; gnawing objects and dietary enrichment; positive interaction with humans; toys and objects to manipulate; for the special needs of breeding does. It also includes advice on using a rabbit ethogram to monitor behaviour, and information on monitoring refinements, record keeping, rehoming rabbits and other guidance on improving rabbit welfare. For each refinement, the report sets out practical and animal welfare factors to take into account when changing husbandry, how to introduce the refinement without causing stress or aggression, and what to do if rabbits do not use a resource or display behaviours that give cause for concern. Special consideration has been given to minimising the risk of aggression when changing to social housing.

Animal Type