The welfare of the Angora rabbit is very important to all members of the National Angora Club, whether exhibitors, craftspeople, pet owners or members with a combination of all three interests.
Welfare starts with responsible breeding. Healthy rabbits are selected for breeding and care is taken not to breed too many rabbits, as surplus youngsters must never be sold to pet shops for welfare reasons.
Sometimes prospective new owners are disappointed that they have to wait two or three months for a young rabbit to become available, but this has the advantage of making sure that a rabbit is not taken on as a result of impulse after seeing an Angora at a craft festival or show, and that each rabbit born is wanted, and a good home is waiting.
Members of the Club are always willing to support the new owner, and the member selling the rabbit will give clear instructions on care, clipping, housing and feeding as well as after care support. The Club website, twitter account (@angora_club) and Facebook page (the latter is for members only) give extra information and answer questions. For those for whom an Angora is their first rabbit, it is very important to learn about general rabbit care as well as the specific care required by a long coated rabbit.
The Fur and Feather bookshop has an excellent range of titles covering all aspects of rabbit care, as well as specific books on the Angora rabbit.
Whilst many people wish to keep rabbits in pairs, some do not realise that rabbits that are not neutered do not live happily together, and rabbits destined for breeding need to live singly or fighting may occur. Serious injuries can occur when two rabbits fight, and even neutered rabbits need introducing to each other carefully and under supervision. Sadly not all will settle happily down together. The best pair is a neutered buck and a neutered doe.
It is rare for 2 neutered bucks to live happily together. Occasionally a pair of non neutered sisters can live contentedly together. Most often they will start to fight as they mature. Does are often very territorial. Even when neutered and reintroduced carefully, two does may not bond.
If you wish for a pair of Angoras, buy one rabbit, get confident with its care, and, when it is old enough, arrange for neutering. Buy a rabbit of the opposite sex, arrange neutering at the right age, and follow guidance on bonding available from the RSPCA or buy a book on bonding from the Fur and Feather bookshop.