The Scottish SPCA is advising residents across Ayrshire against buying rabbits as Easter gifts for fear of a surge in abandonments.

Scotland’s animal welfare charity is warning Scots that a rabbit is for life, not just for Easter.

Scottish SPCA chief superintendent, Mike Flynn, said: “Last year we rescued a staggering 493 pet rabbits across Scotland and this year is proving to be challenging as well, with 116 rabbits already taken in.”

He added: “People should not buy rabbits on impulse and should make an informed decision by learning about rabbit care first.

“Pets are not toys and should never be given on a whim or as a gift.”