Rabbit Shows: Prison or Prize winning?

Hello Nibblers!


Roll up, roll up and read the latest article from ourselves! This week we delve into a hot topic that has two sides fiercely contesting their points. This week, we talk about whether rabbit shows are ethical.


The argument for:

So you may have your own opinion set in stone but a great conversation always has two sides. Rabbit shows are a popular pastime for many animal lovers. They provide an opportunity for rabbit owners to showcase their pets' beauty and unique characteristics.

Firstly, it is essential to understand what rabbit shows are all about. These events are organized competitions where rabbits are evaluated and judged based on specific criteria such as size, colour, and breed standards. The judges award points to rabbits based on how closely they meet these standards. The rabbit with the most points is declared the winner.

Rabbit show enthusiasts will also point out that by showcasing the bunnies they are:

  • Promoting responsible breeding: Rabbit shows can be an excellent way to promote responsible breeding practices. By showcasing well-bred rabbits, breeders can set a standard for the qualities they believe are important in a particular breed. This can help promote healthy, genetically diverse, and well-socialized rabbits.


  • Educating the public: Rabbit shows provide an opportunity for the public to learn more about different rabbit breeds, their characteristics, and their care. This can help promote responsible pet ownership and encourage people to consider adopting rabbits as pets.



  • Building community: Rabbit shows can bring together like-minded people who share a love of rabbits. This can foster a sense of community and provide an opportunity for people to network, share ideas, and support one another.

It sounds simple enough, and certainly harmless enough. In all my years though there’s one thing I know for sure about humans is that the theory always is easier than the practical.

The argument against:

Naysayers of rabbit shows have their own, well-oiled arguments ready to fire. They’ll point out that:

  • That rabbit shows exploit rabbits for human entertainment. They argue that the stress and travel involved in participating in these events can be harmful to the rabbits' health and well-being.


  • And what of the health risks? Rabbit shows can pose a risk to rabbits' health. They can be exposed to diseases, parasites, and stress during transport and while at the event. Rabbits are often kept in small cages for extended periods, which can lead to stress and other health issues. Some breeders also use harsh handling techniques, such as forceful restraint, to keep the rabbits still during judging. These practices can be distressing for the rabbits and can cause physical harm.



  • Inbreeding and genetic problems too. Some critics argue that rabbit shows can perpetuate inbreeding and genetic problems. They argue that breeders may prioritize certain physical characteristics over the rabbits' health and welfare, leading to genetic problems and deformities.


So where should someone stand on this issue? More pertinently, where does Nibble and Gnaw stand on this sort of issue?


Quite frankly, we’ve found our answer to be as simple as any out there. Showing a pet rabbit has no benefit to the animal, so there’s little sense in having a grand display as any attempt will more than likely result in stress and possible harm. After all, rabbits are beasts of prey and by nature we can be skittish about potential dangers; it’s just a part of our evolutionary make up.

Perhaps, somewhere out there someone has worked out a completely stress-free competitive environment. And certainly, we’re not saying that all rabbit owners who take their pets are willingly negligent. However, we do find it best practise to leave well enough alone.


Keep your rabbit home, safe, loved, happy and well fed. If you do that I promise you they’ll give you such a show of affection that no judges points could ever come close to matching.