Sales of rabbits in Yorkshire soar by 146 per cent during lockdown as most popular names revealed

Sales of rabbits in Yorkshire have soared by 146 per cent during lockdown, new figures have revealed.

Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 11:45 am

As the British public approaches its second Easter in lockdown, more time at home has led to a jump in pet ownership.

Now, new data from Quotezone.co.uk shows that rabbits have hopped to the top as the most popular pandemic pet.

Figures show with an increase of 146% in baby bunnies purchased in 2020 (March 2020-February 2021) compared with 2019 in Yorkshire.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

As the British public approaches its second Easter in lockdown, more time at home has led to a jump in pet ownership. Now, new data from Quotezone.co.uk shows that rabbits have hopped to the top as the most popular pandemic pet, with an increase of 146% in baby bunnies purchased in 2020 (March 2020-February 2021) compared with 2019 in Yorkshire.

The data, which is based on a sample of over 80,000 pet insurance policies, far exceeds the increases seen in puppies (55%) or kittens (58%), over the past 12 months.

The most desirable rabbit breed proved to be the Lop-Mini, which topped both the 2019 and 2020 popularity charts.

The breed was closely followed by mixed-breeds and Lionhead rabbits.

Oreo was crowned the most popular UK bunny name, taking over from Lola.

However, local bunny celebrities, Thumper and Peter, both made the top ten most popular names across both years.

Alongside this jump in demand, Quotezone.co.uk’s data shows that the price for a rabbit has soared by 17%, meaning anyone thinking of adding a furry friend to their family this Easter, will likely be paying almost £50 per rabbit.

Data from the RSPCA shows that the period directly after Easter, from May to June, is their busiest time of year for re-homing rabbits, with parents buying cotton-tailed pets for their children as Easter gifts, only to be returned after the holidays once the reality of how much care is needed, has set in.

Greg Wilson, Founder of pet insurance comparison website Quotezone.co.uk, said: “It’s remarkable to see a 212% surge in demand for rabbits throughout 2020 – surprisingly surpassing puppies or kittens.

"And as we approach Easter, we would predict a spike in families buying a rabbit as the perfect holiday gift – particularly as they are often considered a lower maintenance and low-cost option. However, research suggests rabbit food, bedding and supplies can cost as much as £1,047 a year and that’s without any unexpected vet bills.

“The most important thing is to research the animal in question and the breed and make sure you know what to expect. Rabbits may seem like they need less of a commitment than say a puppy, but they have their own unique demands, such as needing at least an hour of play a day, needing access to a good-sized outdoor space to jump and run freely and are really meant to be kept with at least one other rabbit for company as they get lonely very easily.

“No matter what pet you decide upon, veterinary bills have the potential to be quite sizable if the animal suffers an accident or is diagnosed with an illness. A comprehensive pet insurance policy is the best way to protect your furry friend… and safeguard your finances from the unexpected. It doesn’t have to be expensive, our comparison site helps people find better deals by giving them a wide range of insurance providers to choose from.”

Quotezone.co.uk donated £15,000 this winter across three UK charities – one of which was the RSPCA, who aim to prevent cruelty, promote kindness and alleviate suffering of all animals.