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ANIMAL WELFARE

Rabbit abuser reprimanded for animal welfare violations

A farmer in southern Sweden has been reprimanded by animal welfare authorities for the severe neglect of more than 100 animals.

Animal welfare inspectors discovered more than 100 neglected rabbits, several horses and livestock on a farm in Sjöbo in southern Sweden, reported the Skanskan.se news site.

Authorities found overcrowded and dirty rabbit cages with insufficient hay and water. Horses and cows were confined in dirty and wet stalls. Several dead rabbits were found on the dungheap and the remains of two horses were left out in the open.

“This was a case of extreme neglect,” animal welfare inspector Sverker Olsson told Skanskan.se.

The farmer has been ordered to rectify the violations. If he doesn’t address the situation, he faces another injunction with the penalty of a fine.

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RABBITS

Swedish bunnies tipped for Grand National win

Four Swedish jumping rabbits capable of clearing up to three metres in a single hop are gearing up to compete in the Rabbit Grand National in England at the end of this month.

Swedish bunnies tipped for Grand National win
Swedish rabbits compete in London last year. Source: YouTube
It is is the first time Sweden’s floppy-eared athletes will compete at Yorkshire's Small Animal Show dubbed the 'Crufts of the small animal world’ – since Cherie, a two-year-old bunny from Gävle, bounded to victory in the 2012 hurdle race.
 
The sport of bunny athletics originated in Sweden in the 1970s, speading to England in 2011, when Swedish bunnies first competed at the Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate. 
 
Scandinavia still leads the world, with the Danish hopper Tosen holding the record for the highest jump (close to a metre), and another Dane, Yabo, holding the three metre long-jump record. 
 
Karin Molin from Sweden, who is bringing the Scandinavian competitors to the show, hopes her prize rabbit can beat his personal record.   
 
“My rabbit Micro loves the events and has had several high placements from championships in Sweden and did very well in England last year,” she told the Yorkshire Post. 
 
“His record in high jumping currently stands at 85cm high. We hope to beat it in Harrogate.”
 
Tina Larsson from Borlänge, whose rabbits, Llse and Tora, are the reigning Swedish champions, told Sweden's TT agency that the sport was so far advanced in Sweden that it was barely worth competing against other countries.
 
"We cannot compete internationally against anyone, because we just wipe the board with them," she said. "The only country that comes anywhere near the Swedish level is Norway, thanks to the fact that Norwegians have been buying Swedish rabbits." 
 

Paul Threapleton, one of the event’s organisers, first invited the bunnies after seeing videos of them on YouTube.
 
“The first year they came to the show it was a huge success, and we’re looking forward to seeing them in action again,” he told the paper. 
 

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