Meet the veterinary nurse who lived in a rabbit hutch for two days

Emma Purnell talks to Moncrieff today, about her project to raise awareness of rabbit rights

Meet the veterinary nurse who lived in a rabbit hutch for two days

Emma Purnell spent 48 hours living in a 'Rabbit Hutch'

How far would you be willing to go in order to raise awareness of animal rights? Would you be willing to spend two days living in a hutch to show the world the misery of life spent in a rabbit enclosure?

That’s what Sean Moncrieff will be finding out today, when he talks to Emma Purnell, a 30-year-old veterinary nurse from Upton-upon-Severn, in Worcestershire. She’s just been liberated from the cramped conditions and will reveal what it was like live on air at 2.20pm: http://www.newstalk.com/player/

Mrs Purnell’s makeshift human being-sized hutch was located inside the premises of the veterinary surgery she works in, and measured 5 ½ ft long, 2 ½ ft wide and 4 ½ ft tall – designed to be so cramp that it mirrors the living conditions of many domestically kept rabbits. It was fully equipped with a litter tray (albeit only for show), and a water bottle.

According to Mrs Purnell, an ideal hutch should allow rabbits to make three full hops, to stand upright and to stretch out at the ease, but that most rabbits kept as pets are often kept in enclosures that are ill-fitted for use.

Dr Jane Tyson, scientific officer for the RSPCA, has said that the body is critical of hutches for not allowing rabbits to “perform a full range of natural behaviours,” including being unable to stand up without their ears touching the roof. But the RSPCA will not go so far as to prosecute rabbit-owners who keep their pets in such enclosures, as they do not consider it cruelty.

Life as the Hutch Bunny [Facebook/Emma Purnell]

In addition to spending 48 hours in the hutch, Mrs Purnell also raised almost £1,700 (€2,300) for two rabbit-welfare charities. Tune in to Moncrieff at 2.20pm to hear about her work.