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Monday, January 30, 2023

“Stop buying pet rabbits” Consumer Association urges M’sians to get a toy rabbit for CNY instead

News"Stop buying pet rabbits" Consumer Association urges M'sians to get a toy...

According to the Chinese lunar calendar, the year 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit. Being the zodiac of the year, many believed that owning a rabbit would bring them good luck and prosperity throughout the year.

However, the Consumer Association of Penang (CAP) advised Malaysians against buying a pet rabbit as a way to bring good luck during the Chinese New Year.

In a statement, CAP President Mohideen Abdul Kader suggested that people buy a toy rabbit instead as an alternative to the real animal.

“If there is a need for a rabbit to symbolise good fortune, elegance, and beauty, people can acquire a toy rabbit or figurine instead,” he said.

Mohideen also said he noted a tendency for retailers to offer the year’s zodiac animal for sale as pets. This then led to the animal’s neglect, abuse, mistreatment, and abandonment once the novelty died off.

“High demand for rabbits may be inevitable in the run-up to the rabbit year with the belief that it will bring good luck,” he said.

Rabbits are not low-maintenance pets

He then pointed out that there is a misconception that rabbits are low-maintenance pets.

“Most rabbit owners do not know the correct diet for their pets, feeding them on pellets the whole year round when, according to veterinarians, rabbits should be fed with hay, grass, and fresh greens and a lack of that can lead to dental problems.”

“Rabbits live in groups and a bored rabbit can become aggressive and depressed resulting in self-harm,” he said, adding that he often sees rabbits being put in a tiny hutch without proper food or sometimes having no food and some dirty water.

Meanwhile, Mohideen said that despite their popularity, rabbits were among the most neglected animals that humans have domesticated.

“It is time for people to change their thoughts about keeping pets and tackle the ignorance that is so prevalent.”

“Acquiring a pet requires forethought and a clear understanding of the animal’s basic needs. If there is a need for a rabbit to symbolise good fortune, elegance, and beauty, people can acquire a toy rabbit or figurine instead,” he said.

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