They had guineas and rabbits in together so I mentioned it to the man that we paid to get in... He's response was 'do you work for the RSPCA? it's a load of rubbish they can't be housed together... We've done it for 30 years... The RSPCA are only intereted in money, waste of space the lot of em....'
He shook his head and spoke to me in such an ignorant tone that I just walked off..
What would you lovely people have done?!
Was fuming!! Even my 4yr old asked me why are the piggies in with the rabbits mummy? Couldnt answer her with a polite response so I just smiled and said nothing
I was on a website recently and they suggested GPs and rabbits as cagemates. Some on GumTree as well "Oh they get on well, they're both 6 months old..." -yes that's when they start getting maturity wranglings going on. Wonder why they are up for sale
I suppose some people will put a male/female GP /bunnie pair together because they won't breed (but they will still try to mate)
What to do? Go on all the websites. Google in rabbits & guineas. Print off everything you can. Lots of rescues that say they won't rehome a single GP also state quite catergorically No GPs and rabbits.
Send them to the farm manager and to this person (who may well be the owner)
My DD would have made her views very wel known: "You can't keep them together. The rabbit can kill the GP and give it that bacteria . And they don't eat the same. And it would be like me living with a French girl who spoke no English....." She'd have had people tut-tutting about the whole set up.
Yes, just because they've done this for 30 years doesn't make it right. I wonder how long the animals survive? And from his over defensive reaction, I'll guess they've had a visit from the RSPCA already...
I personally wouldn't keep rabbits and guinea-pigs together. However I think that there is a big difference between keeping a rabbit and a guinea-pig together in a small cage (obviously a very bad idea) and letting an established group of rabbits and guinea-pigs share a large outdoor area for exercise during the day time. Perhaps this is what the farm was doing?
I got the same kind of response a couple years ago when I had a "quiet word" with a pet shop manager, who proceeded very loudly in the shop to say I didn't know what I was talking about, she'd kept rabbits and guineas together for years with no problem, yada yada yada. Can't say I'm sorry to say the pet shop is going out of business. Karma!
I know people will cite examples where they've had rabbits and guineas living "happily" together (as if they see what they are doing 24/7!) but the risks are just too, too, high. I've seen the damage that can be caused to both - including a rabbit with severe intestinal damage from a too veggie rich diet (which the pig needs but she didn't) and severe injuries caused to piggies by rabbits.
I will just about accept that if you have tonnes of space, the pig might have a chance of escaping attacks by the rabbit. However, people visiting petting zoos and such like will see rabbits and guineas together and assume this is fine and dandy, so will do the same at home, with usually tragic consequences.
I'm guessing the city farm wants to pack in as many different types of animals so the children can have a more "enriching" experience, and if they don't have space, they want to double up the pigs and buns. It's setting a terrible example and is ethically irresponsible.
Pet shops want to make a profit, and think the "offer" of two different animals in one sale will be more appealing. Most don't really care what happens to the animal after they've pocketed the cash.
If you've got the stomach for a fight, go back to the farm armed with the evidence. If you still get the brush off, ask for their complaints procedure. If it's a charity, they will have a board of trustees, so you can appeal to them either through the complaints procedure (if they give you one) or directly. You can find out who the Chair is and the address from their annual report or probably elsewhere by googling. There's also the option of going to the local papers - play the violins about how your DC was upset that the farmer kept rabbits and guineas together when even DC knew that was dangerous for the animals. Tell them of a friend's experience (any of us on MN! ) of a guinea having to be put to sleep because of rabbit injuries, something like that.
The farm aren't going to want the bad publicity. They won't want the public to think they treat their animals cruelly, which in my view, is what they are doing. Good luck!
Sorry, I was just thinking. This arse of a farmer clearly KNOWS what he is doing is against RSPCA guidance - other wise he wouldn't have asked you suspiciously if you were from RSPCA. The arrogance is probably worse than ignorance here. He knows it's wrong, but still does it. Gah!