Lots of us will be thinking of the Easter Bunny this month as we tuck into our chocolate eggs – but many rabbits are in need of help, according to experts.

Whites Pet Care Centre in Sydenham Road held an event last weekend to raise awareness of the “plight of rabbits”.

Joining forces with the Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund (RWAF) on Saturday April 12, visitors were told ‘a hutch is not enough’.

Co-owner of the store Diane Karn, 44, said rabbits, which are one of the most sought after companions, should be allowed to “roam free” and keeping them alone in small cages is cruel.

She told News Shopper: “They’re one of the most popular pets.

“We want to inform people about how they should be kept and looked after. Some people don’t realise.

“They get very lonely and depressed. They should be kept in the open and in pairs. Some really suffer.”

The animal lover added many cages are inadequate and stressed they must result in a “horrible life”.

RWAF outreach officer Elizabeth Baxter was also on hand to alert the public to potential cruelty.

As part of its ‘A Hutch is Not Enough’ campaign, the organisation states: “Rabbits are not designed to live in a confined space.

“They're not designed to live alone either – wild rabbits live in large social groups, foraging, grooming each other and huddling together for warmth. Rabbits living alone experience high levels of stress.”

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