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Tamsin
26-08-2004, 02:05 PM
I contacted the BRC about their code of conduct, here it is...


I have been a Member of the BRC for more than 2 consecutive years.
I am the breeder or owner of the rabbit(s)
I breed for sale from no more than 4 breeds of rabbit
I am satisfied that all rabbits for sale are in good health, showing no signs of infestation by fleas, lice or mites and have not been knowingly exposed to any contagious disease.
All rabbits show no signs of contradiction to the accepted breed standard and any imperfections will be pointed out to the purchaser
Should the rabbit have a ring, I will explain it's significance to the purchser and tell them how to check the ring.
I will give the purchaser information on feeding their rabbit and explain that the rabbit should always have access to fresh water
If I am unable to satisfy the requirements of a prospective buyer, I will always refer them back to The Breeders Directory and NOT pass them on to another breeder.
I will only sell stock to children under 16 if accompanied by a written letter of authority from parents.

bunnyhuggger
26-08-2004, 02:22 PM
Hmmmmmmm........... could do with updating maybe........

Pendragon
26-08-2004, 08:34 PM
That's only the requirements for someone who is advertising online, on their Breeders Directory. I haven't been a member of the BRC (this time round) for 2 years, so I wouldn't be permitted to advertise on there. Although, I was a member for about 8 consecutive years in the past.

They have other codes of conduct relating to sales of rabbits, which apply to all members!

I suggest you give them a call and ask them about other welfare issues - the phone number is on their website.... normal office hours. They are quite frendly and don't bite! ;)

Bob
26-08-2004, 10:06 PM
Hmmmmmmm........... could do with updating maybe........

Hiya Lynda - what areas do you feel need updating, and how? I would be interested to hear your views. I read nothing wrong or outdated with that "charter" at all? Have I missed something?

I also think that that is a requirement of being on the "Breeders Directory" only and is not a "breeders Charter". Happy to be corrected if I am wrong :!:

bob

bunnyhuggger
26-08-2004, 10:39 PM
Well............ number 9 concerns me a little, surely a letter from the parents isn't enough? If a 15 year old came to me with a letter from a parent, I certainly wouldn't accept it as proof of authority. Anyone could write a letter.

But as I haven't seen the Breeders Directory, I'm not sure how this works. I'm presuming that these breeders only sell to other breeders? If not, then why, if the rabbit is wearing a ring, doesn't the breeder remove the ring as it serves no purpose on a pet.

What system does the BRC have in place to ensure that a breeder does not pass the prospective buyer on to another breeder? And what happens if they do?

Number 7 is a bit basic!

Number 4 - I can assure you that not all rabbits coming from BRC members are healthy, but may be in THEIR opinion. A local member was recently investigated by the SPCA and closed down. Their rabbits were overweight and dirty, and kept in very unsatisfactory conditions.

I also understand that the BRC cannot 'control' or 'monitor' all of the breeders, all of the time.

Just my thoughts, of course.

Pendragon
26-08-2004, 10:48 PM
You are quite right Bob - see my earlier post.

At the moment with new animal welfare legislation being passed, most animal organisations which oversee breeding and showing are under scrutiny, or will be shortly, resulting in a general overhaul of welfare considerations.

At present, the minimum age for rabbits to be shown is 8 weeks, but the BRC is currently debating whether to raise this to 12 weeks. There is no rule about supplying water to rabbits at shows - and very surprisingly, some exhibitors don't! The caring ones do, and here again, I'm certain this will be made a rule soon, to bring it into line with other fancies. In the meantime, those who cherish their rabbits (the majority) give them all due consideration.

There are already BRC recommendations that rabbits are not to be sold under the age of two months... reputable breeders don't allow them to go to new homes under 10 weeks (8 weeks for Dutch who mature faster than other breeds).

It is true that the rabbit world is a little behind some other animal organisations (water, litter trays and blankets must be given to cats at cat shows, for instance, and no sales are allowed directly from shows... these have been GCCF rules for a long time), but the BRC is reviewing its policies and there is every indication that it will be bringing in new rules shortly.

As I said before, calling the BRC to discuss this cannot hurt... they are open to improvements and have a wish to be seen as pro-rabbit in general.

Rexy bexy
26-08-2004, 11:28 PM
hi sue
u cant show a rabbit under 12 weeks now well thats what iv been told and every one i talked to dont show them till 12 weeks which i think is right for most breeds but for dutch and tans that mature alot quicker could probs be show ealyer
i dont sell my rabbits till about 10 weeks and rarely at 8 weeks
becky

Pendragon
26-08-2004, 11:50 PM
The 12 week rule isn't a rule yet, Bex, it is something that will be voted on shortly... BRC members with voting rights have already had ballot papers with the proposal on it for them to vote.

I wouldn't show a Dutch at 8 weeks anyway, but I have shown one at 10 weeks... they are very fast-growing and early maturing... and as you probably know, the classes for young Dutch at shows are under 4 months instead of under 5 for all the other breeds.... I can definitely say the girls are more than ready for their first litter at about 5 months! :roll:

anon101
27-08-2004, 12:25 AM
I agree with what Bunnyhugger has said.

[quote="bunnyhuggger"]Well............ number 9 concerns me a little, surely a letter from the parents isn't enough? If a 15 year old came to me with a letter from a parent, I certainly wouldn't accept it as proof of authority. Anyone could write a letter. quote)

Very true!

I wonder how many children go and buy a pet without the parent's knowledge. They arrive home and the parent says your not having it its got to go??

(quote Number 7 is a bit basic! quote)

Surley this should be more indepth! Neutering, bonding, vaccinations, bedding, hutch size, exercise...to name a few thing's any new Rabbit owner need's to know before taking on a Rabbit.

(quote Number 4 - I can assure you that not all rabbits coming from BRC members are healthy, but may be in THEIR opinion. A local member was recently investigated by the SPCA and closed down. Their rabbits were overweight and dirty, and kept in very unsatisfactory conditions. quote]

I've seen my fair share of bad breeder's who claim to be in the BRC. Small hutche's, dirty bedding etc etc

The Charter defintley need's updating and bringing into the year 2000.


Louise

Bob
27-08-2004, 03:41 AM
Hiya lynda, and thanks for the reply.


Well............ number 9 concerns me a little, surely a letter from the parents isn't enough? If a 15 year old came to me with a letter from a parent, I certainly wouldn't accept it as proof of authority. Anyone could write a letter.

Totally agree! It is such a shame that that guidence is not available to everyone that sells rabbits. In the real world it is, like so many other things, very hard to police. But it is a starting point!

I don't see these "basic" standards applied to non BRC members, to "back street" members, to pet shop breeders, to "Accidental" breeders.. the list goes on... In fact it is easier to have no standards and do what the heck you like and breed whatever you like than to stand up and be counted and to attempt to impose standards and rules!!


But as I haven't seen the Breeders Directory, I'm not sure how this works. I'm presuming that these breeders only sell to other breeders? If not, then why, if the rabbit is wearing a ring, doesn't the breeder remove the ring as it serves no purpose on a pet.

What system does the BRC have in place to ensure that a breeder does not pass the prospective buyer on to another breeder? And what happens if they do?

The Breeders Directory is not there to sell from breeder to breeder. It is intended to allow members of the public to contact breeders of a certain breed in a certain area. I am not now a member of the BRC so you would need to contact the BRC for further information. when I was a member I never felt the need to join this directory but I supported it's publication.



Number 7 is a bit basic!

You are so right that this is so basic (I will give the purchaser information on feeding their rabbit and explain that the rabbit should always have access to fresh water), but so vital as well!! Can you imagine the critical comments if that were ommited? Most breeders spend some considerable time with potential pet owners prior to the purchase of any rabbit and that is probably the most education that that prospective pet owner will get in the life time of the pet!!!

Basic, YES but essential!


Number 4 - I can assure you that not all rabbits coming from BRC members are healthy, but may be in THEIR opinion. A local member was recently investigated by the SPCA and closed down. Their rabbits were overweight and dirty, and kept in very unsatisfactory conditions.
I also understand that the BRC cannot 'control' or 'monitor' all of the

Again, very true. If there were a "pet" or "back street breeder" or "rescue" council I could apply the exact same comments, and I have personally experienced many of those.


Sadly they do not have ANY guidelines to work from. The BRC does, and spends some considerable time and money in updating those guidelines. Sadly, it then lays itself open to such critisism by setting such "basic" standards.

I have also seen bad "BRC" breeders as well. Paying your subs does not mean that you are a good breeder or that you treat your rabbits kindly. it simply means that you have paid your subs!

As you, yourself said. they cannot control or monitor rabbit welfare on an individual basis but hats off to them (BRC) for at least setting a basic if rudimentry standard even if it means that it sets them up for everyone else to have a pop at them. Now, if that same basic standard were enforced across the board then that would be a small but positive step in rabbit welfare!!

Bob

Tamsin
27-08-2004, 08:17 AM
Basic standards are a good grounding, sometimes its difficult to be more specific as more than one way of doing things can be right. For example, there are many different ideas of what the perfect food/diet is so setting it down as a rule isn't possible.

Look at the this way...

1. The breeder has at least 2 yrs experience caring for rabbits
3. No more than four breeds helps cut out any mass producers
4. The rabbit is in good health
5. If the rabbit varies from what the owner expects from the breed they'll be informed
6. The new owner will be informed about the ring and how to care for it
7. The new owner will be told about providing the correct diet
8. Prospective buyers will be pointed in the direction of breeders meeting all these critearia
9. Children under 16 have to have parental permission (which is 3 yrs higher than purchasing from a petshop!)

Bare in mind this are just minimum standards I'm sure many breeders have their own policies when selling too.

I think no. 7 could be extended to provide information on care as well as diet.

Tam

Pendragon
27-08-2004, 09:06 AM
As I've said in previous posts, these are not the current guidelines for BRC breeders, just the Breeder's Directory.

I have dug out the BRC information on the sale of rabbits, and these are the guidelines they give to members about selling:

In the interest of any animals sold, and in the interests of the rabbit fancy as a whole, all sellerss should act responsibly and obey the following rules:
1. No rabbit should be sold before it is two months of age.
2. No sick or injured animal should ever be sold.
3. The seller should make absolutely certain that the buyer fully understands the care and handling of the rabbit (giving written instructions - which can be obtained from the BRC - is a good idea).
5. The general conditions and feeding under which the rabbits has been kept should be explained.
5. Any animal sold should either conform to a standard and be a reasonable show specimen, or the buyer should be informed that it is not suitable for show.
6. No rabbit should be sold to a child under the age of 12 years.
7. Care should be taken that at all times the animals should be kept in satisfactory surroundings. This also applies to shows where sometimes too many animals are confined in pens (when they are for sale) which causes overcrowding.

I don't know what date these guidelines were drawn up, but they were done so with particular reference to the law on selling animals. As it stands under current legislation (dating from 1951!), it is only illegal to sell animals to children under 12... which will be amended to 16 with the new animal welfare laws.

The BRC's rules for inclusion in their online Breeder's Directory were drawn up much more recently than the above, therefore the age limit of 16 is included which is more morally acceptable, with or without legislation!

anon101
27-08-2004, 11:42 AM
[quote="Pendragon"]

[quote) 1. No rabbit should be sold before it is two months of age. (quote)

I wonder how many people who sell to Pet Shop's adhere by this one??

I've heard of a recent case of four baby Dutch no older then four week's old up for sale in a Pet Shop. I believe the Pet Shop and the Breeder are being investigated by the RSPCA.

(quote) 7. Care should be taken that at all times the animals should be kept in satisfactory surroundings. (quote)

Satisfactory??? Surley Rabbit's who are shown and bear young should be kept to a high standard and live in high standard accomadation. Like any pet Rabbit should. If any Rabbit deserve's better surley it's one who is worked ie shown or breed.

I would be interested to hear how these rule's are enforced and what happen's to breeder's who break them?

Louise

Pendragon
27-08-2004, 12:09 PM
1. No rabbit should be sold before it is two months of age.


I wonder how many people who sell to Pet Shops adhere by this one??

I've no way of knowing, and it depends mainly on the shop! Many will not take them after 6 weeks. The better shops refuse to take them under 8 weeks, and there are some who prefer them to be 10 weeks.

But as most rabbits in pet shops come from backyard breeders or "special" contracted breeders, who are not BRC members, then wider education about rabbit welfare is needed.


I've heard of a recent case of four baby Dutch no older then four week's old up for sale in a Pet Shop. I believe the Pet Shop and the Breeder are being investigated by the RSPCA.

Yes - I know of this case, too. Just because they are Dutch doesn't mean the breeder is anything to do with the BRC, which is what we are discussing here. However, the chances are that it is someone highly ignorant of rabbit care... perhaps an accidental litter or a pet shop rabbit bought pregnant.


7. Care should be taken that at all times the animals should be kept in satisfactory surroundings.


I would be interested to hear how these rules are enforced and what happens to breeders who break them? [/quote]

Why don't you contact the BRC and ask them? They may also be able to define "satisfactory" for you.

I cannot answer for the thousands of other BRC members, or the BRC itself. I am just an ordinary member with nowhere near as many rabbits as some other breeders, and I take the welfare and care of mine quite seriously.... as do others - I am not the only one!

Lazylops
27-08-2004, 02:23 PM
Hi guys, this is an interesting discussion but I think that we just need to keep things in perspective in that this is the charter produced as guidance by the BRC, if anyone feels it is inadequate, bearing in mind the new Animal Welfare Bill that will be completely restandardising the whole thing, they need to talk to the BRC directly, who will be better able to answer questions and clarify any points.

Guidelines are exactly what they say they are, and unfortunately there will be people who will abuse these and sadly do things that are not good practice. But there are a lot of people who don't and we see evidence of that on this forum. If the feeling is that the charter is inadequate then best course of action is to contact/write to the BRC.

Annie

Tamsin
27-08-2004, 03:48 PM
I did as you suggested Sue and phoned them up :) They're sending me a copy of the guidelines etc.

I also asked them some questions that have come up so far...

New members are given information and a book on breeding which explains things like how rabbit should be kept.

The BRC don't recommend selling to petshops. Members generally breed for showing rather than to produce pets.

All rings that are sold come with an information leaflet on caring for them and the BRC reccommends that all rings are removed before rabbits being sold as pets.

If you have concerns over the welfare of any bunnies you should report it to the RSPCA.

Hope that helps, I'll let you know when the information arrives and what it says.

Tam

anon101
27-08-2004, 04:05 PM
]In the interest of any animals sold, and in the interests of the rabbit fancy as a whole, all sellerss should act responsibly and obey the following rules:


]Guidelines are exactly what they say they are, and unfortunately there will be people who will abuse these and sadly do things that are not good practice.

I thought they where rule's not guideline's????

Louise

Lazylops
27-08-2004, 04:11 PM
Rules or guidelines, either way, the BRC are the instigators of them for their Organisation, so, if you have any disagreement with any of their 'rules or guidelines' it is probably best to speak directly to the 'horses mouth' so to speak.

anon101
27-08-2004, 04:29 PM
[quote]I've heard of a recent case of four baby Dutch no older then four week's old up for sale in a Pet Shop. I believe the Pet Shop and the Breeder are being investigated by the RSPCA.

Yes - I know of this case, too. Just because they are Dutch doesn't mean the breeder is anything to do with the BRC, which is what we are discussing here. However, the chances are that it is someone highly ignorant of rabbit care... perhaps an accidental litter or a pet shop rabbit bought pregnant.

I'm corrected if this is the case, but the impression given was that these where professional breeder's, so I assumed they would be BRC reg.

Louise

anon101
27-08-2004, 04:34 PM
7. Care should be taken that at all times the animals should be kept in satisfactory surroundings.


I would be interested to hear how these rules are enforced and what happens to breeders who break them? [/quote]

Why don't you contact the BRC and ask them? They may also be able to define "satisfactory" for you.quote]

Do you know how they enforce these rule's/guideline's? I would of thought the BRC would of made it quite clear to BRC member's that this is what they expect and this is what will happen if you dont keep to these standard's?

Surley if the BRC here's of a breeder breeding doe's back to back, in cramped condition's, selling underage babie's to anybody who come's along they will do something about it?

I've contacted the BRC with a few issue's and I am waiting there response.

Louise

Lazylops
27-08-2004, 04:37 PM
Possibly, I have no knowledge of the case so am in no position to comment. We can only assume that they are registered with the BRC, but someone may call themselves a professional breeder and not be registered with the BRC, unfortunately it is exceptionally diffucult to police every pet owner's activities with their pets, we can only offer guidelines, and instigate laws, and hope people follow them, and if we feel that someone is doing something wrong that the correct authorities are contacted so the necessary action can be taken.

Lizzie
27-08-2004, 04:38 PM
Louise, the only way to find out definitively how BRC enforces their guidelines/rules/code of practice is to ask them. You could go round in circles for ever here dissecting the information but the only way to find out is to put them on the spot and ask them the direct question. I am sure we would all be very interested to know the answer. :)

anon101
27-08-2004, 04:50 PM
Louise, the only way to find out definitively how BRC enforces their guidelines/rules/code of practice is to ask them. You could go round in circles for ever here dissecting the information but the only way to find out is to put them on the spot and ask them the direct question. I am sure we would all be very interested to know the answer. :)

As mentioned in my last post I have already contacted them and wait there response. :)

Louise

Tamsin
03-09-2004, 01:10 PM
I'm very impressed with the booklet the BRC have kindly sent me titled 'Getting Started in Rabbits', I think its excellent! I'll quote you a few bits and you'll see what I mean.

The very first subject is commitment which mentions food, grooming, time cost, holiday care and that bunnies can live 8-10 years.

On where to get a rabbit it goes on to mention "the local branch of the rspca oor other rescue shelters often have rabbits in need of loving homes".

It goes on to explain what the signs of ill health are in a baby rabbit and the minimum age you should get one from.

Advice on handling and housing, feeding, vaccinations....

On breeding it says "think very carefully before you breed from your rabbit....a litter can be between 2 and 9 so make sure you have good homes for all the babies. You need a larger hutch...consider the added cost..... Bringing new life into the animal kingdom needs careful and responsible consideration. If you seriously want to breed from your rabbit we advise you to get in touch with a breeder and discuss in depth whats involved. Never mate a doe and hope for the best as complications can arrise."

A very good introduction for new members in think :D

Tamsin

Adele
03-09-2004, 02:46 PM
i think that is an EXCELLENT introductions for new BRC members Tamsin :D , at least the BRC is pushing these points, but unfortunately it is very difficult to ensure everyone follows them to a tee. :?
At least the information is readily available for those who seek it :D

Fluffybunny
04-09-2004, 06:12 PM
Now who can say that this is worse information than Pet shops give their customers/future bunny owners :?: I for one did not get any information when I got my first rabbit(s). Not even told what food they were on.

Where as breeders (the majority) try to find out a little about you & where their rabbit is going. Eg asking how big a hutch, any other rabbits, first time owner etc.

The breeders I have bought off have been wonderful, showing me pictures over the internet, advising me what they like/dislike. All 3 breeders I have got rabbits off have been 200-400 miles away, and I have travelled down there to see the conditions, then met up maybe a few weeks later when they were ready to go (10 weeks). I was given pro-biotics to ease stress, a huge bag of their own food, information, pedigrees! What more could one ask for!!!!

Just my opinion but I feel it's better to know what you are getting & from whom than just to buy a pet shop rabbit at 5 weeks :roll: :?

xxx

taylor v 109
04-09-2004, 08:11 PM
The brc has made rules for members to adhere to in the best interests of the rabbits, they cannot of course keep an eye on whot everyone is doing.If you were caught or reported as flowting these rules you could be expelled from the BRC this would mean you would not be able to whow your rabbits anywere. This to me is the ultimate deterrent to breaking the rules. As for showing rabbits that are to young you would not get away with it because any judge worth his salt would throw it off [ not literally] the table. The best age is about 3 mths when they have a decent coat, and you wont get comments from other breeders saying should be with its mum. Their are a great many experienced breeders at shows who woult let you know if you were not doing the right thing. I applaude the brc for being about the only people trying to lay down some rules for the keeping and showing of rabbits. val

Bob
04-09-2004, 09:00 PM
Is it Ok to talk here?

Yvonne
04-09-2004, 09:36 PM
lol at Bob, I'm sure i recognise your style, did you by any chance once visit the brc forum?? :wink:

Yvonne

bunnyhuggger
04-09-2004, 10:29 PM
Hmmmmmmmm if I remember rightly the BRC forum had to close down due to major disagreements within the ranks :roll: :?

Bob
05-09-2004, 01:39 AM
Hmmmmmmmm if I remember rightly the BRC forum had to close down due to major disagreements within the ranks :roll: :?

The BRC forum closed down for a number of reasons. Contrary to popular belief I was not a member of that forum for months prior to it's closing. Sadly the closure of that forum was not of my making - such a shame :lol:

anon101
05-09-2004, 06:21 PM
I'm sorry to say I have yet to receive a response to my email to the BRC.

Does anybody know how often they check email or how reliable there email system is?

Louise

Tamsin
05-09-2004, 06:23 PM
Have you tried phoning them up? Thats the easiest way, they were happy to answer questions and popped the bits of paper I asked for straight in the post
:D

Tam

anon101
05-09-2004, 06:28 PM
I dont like to use the phone at the best of time's as I'm deaf and wear hearing aid's.

It's a bit hit and miss really whether or not I will hear somebody and its awfuly embarassing when I dont, so I tend to stick to email or pen/paper for unfamilar phone calls if possible. :D

Might try sending them a letter thou the snail mail.

Louise

Bunnyboarding
05-09-2004, 10:42 PM
Hi Louise,

Perhaps explain this on your email to the BRC?

I know they are very helpful whenever you speak to them at the office on the phone, but i know they do get anti-breeders or politically minded BRC members that complain to them on occasion so maybe it is best to either write to them or get someone to telephone them directly?

PS.They are a very busy office so this may explain the delay.

anon101
06-09-2004, 08:15 AM
I'l mention that in my letter! :D

Louise