First Veterinary Practice in Wales Awarded Gold Standard in Rabbit Care by Rabbit Welfare Organisation

Valley Veterinary Hospital in Cardiff, Wales, has been awarded the first Gold Standard Award for rabbit care in Wales, following an application and assessment by the Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund (RWAF), the UK’s largest charity solely dedicated to improving the lives of pet rabbits. 

There are only 11 other practices in the UK that hold the Gold Standard Award for rabbit care, a respected and coveted title for any practice that handles small animals and exotic pets. 

Valley Veterinary Hospital had to demonstrate excellence across all aspects of rabbit care, including pain relief and management, dentistry and airway management, in order to achieve the Award. The practice was commended on its top-quality facilities, including a dedicated exotic department with separate waiting and consulting rooms, as well as kennel areas for rabbits to keep them away from larger animals, relieving them of stress and anxiety. 

Valley Veterinary Hospital exotic animals specialist, Tariq Abou-Zahr, BVSc CertAVP(ZooMed) MRCVS, said:

“I am absolutely delighted that Valley Veterinary Hospital has met the grade to achieve the first RWAF gold status in Wales. I believe that rabbits are just as deserving of excellent veterinary care as cats and dogs, and I am so pleased that I work in a veterinary hospital where we have the facilities to provide this standard of care.

“Rabbit medicine has always been an interest of mine, and I’m very grateful to Vet Partners for investing in such great facilities and to RWAF for considering our application and granting us Gold status.”

There are one million pet rabbits living in the UK, making them the UK’s third most popular pet, but research shows they are also one of the most misunderstood animals, meaning regular visits to the vet are essential to keep them happy and healthy. The Gold and Silver RWAF Standard Awards allow rabbit owners to recognise veterinary practices that are able to offer specialist rabbit care.  

Applications for the Awards are assessed by Dr Richard Saunders BSc Hons MSB CBiol DZooMed MRCVS, one of the UK’s leading specialists on rabbit welfare and veterinary advisor for RWAF. 

Dr Richard Saunders BSc Hons MSB CBiol DZooMed MRCVS said: 

“I’m really pleased to accept our first Welsh Gold rabbit-friendly vet practice member, Valley Vets, to the RWAF list. Rabbits are highly misunderstood as easy first-time pets, but they are in fact very complex animals that require specific handling and care. A practice holding the Gold standard award demonstrates to rabbit owners that their pets are in the best hands, and people in Cardiff can be assured that Valley Vets has been recognised for their high standards in care.

“As a dedicated rabbit charity aiming to improve the wellbeing and welfare of domestic rabbits throughout the UK, our requirements to meet a Gold standard in rabbit care are very high. Valley Vets has met all of these standards and I’m delighted to reward a practice in Wales who have demonstrated that they are as passionate about rabbit care as we are.”

RWAF have put together a list of their award-winning rabbit-savvy practices on their website which can be viewed here:

Any veterinary practices interested in applying for the Rabbit Friendly Vet List should visit