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January 22, 2011

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Hare-raising rabbit facts

WITH more people interested in raising pet bunnies due to the coming Chinese Year of the Rabbit, animal welfare experts warn that they are not as easy to care for as cats or dogs.

Animal experts said Shanghai doesn't have enough veterinarians capable of treating sick rabbits and that many people do not know how to raise bunnies properly.

According to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Shanghai has few pet hospitals with vets capable of treating rabbits.

A person whose online ID was "Namao" said yesterday her rabbit got diarrhea, which can be fatal, but all the veterinarians she contacted had little or no experience in treating bunnies.

Maggie Chen, a PETA official, said raising rabbits is more difficult than cats or dogs and that people's "common sense" would be harmful to the health of bunnies.

"For example, many people take for granted that rabbits love to eat carrots and green vegetables, but in fact, these foods should only be given as an occasional treat," Chen said. "It's best to get rabbit food in pet stores."

Websites specializing in raising rabbits said the animals need plenty of fresh water as they do not get water from food like humans do.


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