Rabbit keeper guilty of animal neglect charges

The bodies of the rabbits were found in a hutch. INPT06-060
The bodies of the rabbits were found in a hutch. INPT06-060

A Portadown resident was given two suspended jail terms and banned from keeping rabbits for two years after pleading guilty to animal welfare offences.

The defendant, who appeared at Craigavon Magistrates Court last Tuesday, was charged with causing unnecessary suffering and failing to ensure that the needs of the rabbits were met.

The defendant pleaded guilty to the charges which were brought by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council following an investigation by animal welfare officers in Craigavon last September.

The council received a complaint regarding a number of rabbits being allowed to roam freely outside a property and it was claimed these rabbits were at risk of injury from dogs and traffic.

When animal welfare visited they discovered two dead rabbits in hutches inside a shed in the back garden. Both hutches were heavily littered with faeces and no water was provided.

The District Judge said he wanted to “send out a signal to the public” and imposed two months in custody, suspended for two years, and fined the defendant a total of £300.