Rabbits must be housed in pairs to stop them feeling lonely and even depressed by living alone.
The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has called on the Government to stop pet shops selling single rabbits.
Bunnies are social mammals and live together in burrows and need interaction to remain happy and healthy pets.
Rabbits are sociable creatures are likely to choose company over food when given the choice according to research (file image)
It comes after a survey of 18,000 of BVA members found that 42 per cent of bunnies were sold alone, according to the Daily Telegraph.
The BVA said ministers ‘must encourage owners to buy rabbits in compatible pairs or groups in pet vending legislation’.
And the sociable creatures are likely to choose company over food when given the choice according to research.
BVA president Daniella Dos Santos said it is a ‘big concern’ that many rabbits in the UK live a solitary life and the mammals benefit greatly from being housed with a suitable companion.
Bunnies are social mammals and live together in burrows and need interaction to remain happy and healthy pets (file image)
Many pet owners house rabbits with guinea pigs yet experts warn against this pairing due to different dietary and social needs.
A BVA survey found that a staggering 73 per cent of vets had experienced rabbits whose welfare needs were below expectations.
And despite being the UK’s third most popular pet, according to the 2019 PDSA Paw report, many suffer from loneliness and cramped conditions.
Pets can express low mood by showing signs such as sleeping more than usual, hiding or in extreme cases pulling out their own fur.
Yet any pairing may not be suitable and Ms Dos Santos stressed how owners should seek expert veterinary guidance to ensure the right match.
Ms Dos Santos added how a neutered pair is usually ideal when purchasing two rabbits together.
However owners should consult their vet for the safest option when introducing a companion to a lone rabbit.
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