More than 40 rabbits rescued from Norfolk shed

Animal welfare workers rescued more than 40 rabbits from a dilapidated shed near Norwich after their elderly owner was taken ill.

PACT Animal Sanctuary was contacted by the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on behalf of a patient in his 70s who is understood to have had a stroke. He told nurses he had about 30 rabbits that had not been fed for two days.

The man handed over his keys and signed over ownership of the animals to the charity, before giving them directions to the junk-strewn shed at Holt Road, Horsford.

Charity workers arrived on Friday night and rescued about 20 of the animals, before returning on Saturday for the rest.

George Rockingham, of PACT Animal Sanctuary, said: 'There were at least 40 rabbits kept in boxes on the floor and in filing cabinets. One was in a wet cardboard box.

'Most of the animals were in reasonable condition but had obviously never been out of the place. There was plenty of food but no water and they were very thirsty.'

Mr Rockingham said he understood the rabbits were being bred as pets and for meat. Many were New Zealand Whites, a large breed, and there were at least nine baby rabbits, just a few days old.

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The rescued animals will now be taken to the sanctuary at Woodrising, near Hingham, and cared for before being rehomed.