News Call For Better Rabbit Knowledge



Call for better rabbit knowledge
12th October 2021

By Justine Thompson

A research project carried out by the Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund alongside academic experts discovered poor levels of veterinary education when it came to the treatment of rabbits.
The ‘What's Up, Doc?’ survey revealed that more specialist teaching was required to improve competence and confidence in treating rabbits.

Results showed that many vets lacked confidence, particularly at the point of graduation where only one in 10 vets felt well-prepared. This confidence improved thanks to CPD (Continuing Professional Development), but more than half did not currently feel very confident when treating rabbits.
The survey also found that 40% of vets received one day or less of teaching on rabbits during their degree.

“There is the perception in the rabbit owning community that many vets in general practice lack confidence when treating rabbits, and we wanted to explore this further with our research,” said Nicola Clements, a first year PhD student at Hartpury university.
“This was a small survey but offered clear indicators that education on rabbits during veterinary degrees needs to change. Ideally, more research needs to take place on a wider scale with the support of one or more veterinary schools.”

Nicola was joined by Dr Richard Rolfe, senior lecturer at the University of Gloucestershire, and Richard Saunders, RWAF veterinary advisor, to conduct the research.

The ‘What's Up, Doc?’ survey was praised by a judging panel at the annual conference of the Association for Veterinary Teaching and Research Work, and won a prestigious Poster Prize for its findings.