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Companion rabbit and companion bird management practices among a representative sample of guardians in Victoria, Australia

By T. J. Howell, K. Mornement, P. C. Bennett

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Abstract

Although companion animal management practices used by caregivers can influence the welfare of the companion animals, there is little existing information about the ways in which people attempt to meet their companion animals' needs. A representative sample of rabbit guardians ( n=93, representing 63,000 people) and bird guardians ( n=203, representing 157,000 people) in Victoria, Australia, completed an online survey. Items were related to the environmental, diet/exercise, behavioral, social, and health management practices used by guardians. Guardians sometimes meet their companion animals' welfare needs, but they do not always engage in best practices. Most (79%) bird guardians reported that they interacted with their birds daily, but only 68% of rabbit guardians did the same. Likewise, 32% of rabbit guardians and 55% of bird guardians never had their companion animals vaccinated. These results may be used for educational campaigns for improving companion animal welfare.

Publication Title Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science
Volume 18
Issue 3
Pages 287-302
ISBN/ISSN 1088-8705
DOI 10.1080/10888705.2015.1017095
Language English
Author Address Anthrozoology Research Group, School of Psychological Science, La Trobe University, Bendigo, P.O. Box 199, Bendigo, VIC 3552, Australia.t.howell@latrobe.edu.au
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Tags
  1. Animals
  2. Animal welfare
  3. APEC countries
  4. Australasia
  5. Australia
  6. Birds
  7. Commonwealth
  8. Developed countries
  9. Exercise
  10. Health
  11. Lagomorpha
  12. Leporidae
  13. Mammals
  14. Nations
  15. Oceania
  16. OECD countries
  17. peer-reviewed
  18. Pets and companion animals
  19. rabbits
  20. vertebrates
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  1. peer-reviewed