Follow Up Friday
Hello furry friends. It’s Buddy, your intrepid reporter back again with a follow up Friday.
Last Friday whee discussed the zoos keeping rabbits and guinea pigs together and the reasons why whee believe this is dangerous, along with the facts to prove this. You can read the full post here.
Well whee have a follow up with RSPCA Rachel Roxburgh, giving us this quote on what they think of zoos who keep rabbits and guinea pigs together:
“Experts advise that the best companion for a rabbit is another
friendly rabbit and for a guinea pig is another friendly guinea pig. Keeping rabbits and guinea pigs together is not an ideal combination,” said RSPCA rabbit welfare scientist Rachel Roxburgh.
“In the past, one reason for keeping rabbits and guinea pigs together was the desire to provide companionship for these animals when it was considered unsafe to neuter rabbits. This is no longer the case since rabbits of both sexes and male guinea pigs are now routinely neutered safely. Therefore rabbits may more safely, and far more appropriately, be kept with their own species, and it is not necessary to keep them with guinea pigs instead,” she continued.
The RSPCA advises against keeping rabbits and guinea pigs together for a number of reasons:
“The two species have different needs so keeping them together is not ideal. For example, rabbits and guinea pigs have different dietary needs. Unlike rabbits, guinea pigs cannot synthesise vitamin C and therefore this must be provided adequately within their diet.
“Rabbits can cause injury to guinea pigs, intentionally or unintentionally, by kicking them with their powerful back legs. Rabbits may also bully their guinea pig companion, which can make the guinea pig stressed if he/she cannot get away from the rabbit. Additionally, if the rabbit should attempt to mate the guinea pig, the rabbit is likely to cause injury to the guinea pig’s back and may also injure the guinea pig by biting him/her on the neck, which is part of normal rabbit mating behaviour.
“The bacteria, Bordetella bronchiseptica,is the most common cause of respiratory disease in guinea pigs. Rabbits, as well as cats and dogs, can carry this bacteria which can be passed to guinea pigs and cause disease. Therefore, due to the risk of infection, guinea pigs should not be housed with rabbits, and should be kept away from dogs and cats.
“Rabbits behave and communicate in very different ways to guinea pigs, so if kept together they will not understand the other species’ behaviour and therefore do not make ideal companions for one another.
“We would urge zoos to look at their housing policies, and where appropriate amend them to ensure the utmost health and welfare of the animals in their care. However if there is a situation where guinea pigs and rabbits are already kept together and get on well, it is best not to separate them as this could also cause welfare problems,” Rachel Roxburgh added.
So you see, it’s not just us. An internationally recognized society for preventing animal cruelty agree.
What do you think zoos with rabbits and guinea pigs kept together should do next? Do you think they need to change? Or maybe they need to agree that in the future they should not mix species? Afterall, you wouldn’t do it for any other animal so why should rabbits and guinea pigs matter less?
Our next plan is, as a was suggested previously, to contact a local paper and see if they help us get zoos thinking. Whee will update you as soon as whee have anything new. Like a dog with a bone, whee are not going to give up on this!
Until my next assignment
Posted on September 20, 2013, in Piggy Blogs and tagged bunnies, cavies, cavy, guinea pig, guinea pig and rabbits, guinea pig blog, guinea pig blogger, guinea pigs, guinea pigs in zoo, pet, pets, rabbits, rabbits and guinea pigs, the dangers of keeping guinea pigs with rabbits. Bookmark the permalink. 37 Comments.