Apr 6 2011 by Chris Severs, Wallasey News
WIRRAL rabbit owners have been asked to take part in a new survey that will help scientists understand more about the different ways rabbits are kept and cared for and how best to give our bunny-buddies happy, healthy lives.
The research aims to look at your ‘rabbits habits’ and could reveal just how much we mollycoddle our big-eared companions.
Although far from terrorising farmers’ crops or evading cartoon hunters, pet rabbits amazingly tend to be very similar to their wild counterparts.
With around one million rabbits in the UK, they are the third most popular pet, after dogs and cats, but vets still class rabbits as ‘exotic’, as traditionally, they were a rarity in the country.
Dr Nicola Rooney, originally from Moreton but now working at the University of Bristol is leading the research and says Wirral is a key area for the team as they want a good diverse cross-section of rabbit life in the UK.
Nicola attended Wallasey School before completing a degree at Leicester University and a PhD at Southampton.
She says that, as it’s the Chinese Year of the Rabbit, there’s no better time to find out about them.
Nicola says: “By studying a very large number or rabbits we'll hopefully be able to work out what rabbits of different types, ages and sizes, need most in order to keep them healthy and happy.”
Nicola is a member of the Anthrozoology Institute. Anthrozoology is the study of human relationships with animals, and how we interact with them.
By completing the survey, participants will also be given the opportunity to win £100.
If you have a rabbit, please go to www.survey.bris.ac.uk/awb/rabbitsurvey