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The British Rabbit Council (BRC) is an organisation for rabbit enthusiasts in the United Kingdom. The rabbit is the UK's third most popular pet.
To enter most rabbit shows, participants must be Council members and their rabbits must have a metal ring around one hind leg registered in their name. In breed classes, the rabbits are judged to a standard. Shows are rated from 1* to 5*, 1* being the lowest and 5* the highest.[ citation needed ]
There are over 60 breeds recognised by the British Rabbit Council and over 500 varieties. These are divided into four groups - Fancy, Lop, Normal Fur, Rex.
The British Rabbit Council was formed in 1934 when the British Rabbit Society and the National Rabbit Council of Great Britain and her Dominions merged.
The Netherland Dwarf is a breed of domestic rabbit that originated in the Netherlands. Weighing 1.1–2.5 pounds (0.50–1.13 kg), the Netherland Dwarf is one of the smallest rabbit breeds. Its popularity as a pet or show rabbit may stem from its neotenic appearance. The Netherland Dwarf is recognised by both the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) and the British Rabbit Council (BRC). The Netherland Dwarf is often confused with the Polish breed of rabbit, but the latter has longer ears, a non-brachycephalic head and less cobbiness.
Dwarf rabbit refers either (formally) to a rabbit with the dwarfing gene, or (informally) to any small breed of domestic rabbit or specimen thereof, or (colloquially) to any small rabbit. Dwarfism is a genetic condition that may occur in humans and in many animals, including rabbits. True dwarfism is often associated with a cluster of physical abnormalities, including pituitary dwarfism. The process of dwarfing is used to selectively breed for smaller stature with each generation. Small stature is a characteristic of neoteny, which may account for the attraction of dwarf animals.
The Californian, also known as the California White, is a breed of domestic rabbit originally developed for the fur and meat industries by George S. West of Lynnwood, California, starting in 1923. Mr. West maintained a herd of 300 genetically pure New Zealand Whites, which he began crossing with Standard Chinchilla rabbits and Himalayan rabbits. His new breed, named for the state of its origin, was first shown in 1928 and a standard was accepted by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) in 1939.
The Dutch rabbit, also known as Hollander or Brabander is easily identifiable by its characteristic colour pattern, and was once the most popular of all rabbit breeds. However, after dwarf rabbits were developed, the popularity of the Dutch rabbit dwindled. Nevertheless, the Dutch rabbit remains one of the top ten most popular breeds worldwide.
The Mini Lop is a breed of domestic rabbit that is recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA). It is different from the Miniature Lop breed that is recognized by the British Rabbit Council (BRC). The Mini Lop [US] and the Miniature Lop [UK] are different from the Dwarf Lop breed that is recognized by the BRC. The Mini Lop is similar to several other small rabbit breeds, such as the Dwarf rabbit.
The Flemish Giant rabbit is a very large breed of domestic rabbit, normally considered to be the largest breed of the species. Flemish Giants are historically a utility breed bred for fur and meat. The breed is also known for being docile and patient in being handled, resulting in the large animals commonly being kept as pets.
The French Lop is a breed of domestic rabbit developed in France in the 19th century from the selective breeding of English Lop and Flemish Giant stock. The French Lop resembles the English Lop, but the French Lop is heavier in stature and does not have the exaggerated ear length of the English Lop. Weighing approximately 4.5 kilograms (9.9 lb), it has an average lifespan of five years. The French Lop is currently recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) and by the British Rabbit Council (BRC).
Lop rabbit or lop-eared rabbit refers to any rabbit with ears that droop, as opposed to being carried erect. A number of rabbit breeds are characterized by such lop ears. Abnormalities in the skull of a half-lop rabbit were studied by Charles Darwin in 1868.
Lionhead is a breed of domestic rabbit recognized by the British Rabbit Council (BRC) and by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA). The Lionhead rabbit has a wool mane encircling the head, reminiscent of a male lion as its name implies. Other Lionhead characteristics include a high head mount, compact upright body type, short well-furred 2- to 3-inch ears, and a weight of 2.5 to 3.75 pounds.
The term rex rabbit refers informally to one of at least nine breeds of domestic rabbit. One such breed is the Rex, which is recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) and by the British Rabbit Council (BRC). Other modern-day rex rabbit breeds are listed below. Care must be taken to distinguish the rex rabbit breeds from the three types of rex rabbit fur for which they are known.
The Checkered Giant is a breed of domestic rabbit that originated in France. One of the largest rabbit breeds, the Checkered Giant is recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA). The British Rabbit Council (BRC) does not recognize the Checkered Giant, but does recognize a comparable breed, which is named the Giant Papillon.
The Argenté rabbit is one of the oldest breeds of French show rabbits. The British Rabbit Council (BRC) recognises six varieties: Argenté Bleu, Argenté Brun, Argenté Crème, Argenté de Champagne, Argenté Noir, and Argenté St Hubert. The American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) recognises the Champagne d'Argent and the Crème d'Argent. A rare variety, the Argenté Clair, is not currently recognised by either the BRC or ARBA.
The Tri-Colour Dutch is a breed of domestic rabbit created in the Netherlands by crossing tortoiseshell Dutch rabbits with Harlequin rabbits. The Tri-Colour Dutch breed is recognized by the British Rabbit Council but not by the American Rabbit Breeders Association. The coat of the Tri-Colour Dutch is white in the same places as a Dutch rabbit, but the coloured portions of the coat are a mix of orange with either black, blue or chocolate.
The Cinnamon rabbit is a breed of domesticated rabbit created "accidentally" in 1962 and named for its coat color. The Cinnamon is currently recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) but not by the British Rabbit Council (BRC).
The New Zealand is a breed of rabbit, which despite the name, is American in origin. The breed originated in California, possibly from rabbits imported from New Zealand. New Zealand rabbits are available in five colors recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders' Association (ARBA): white, red, black, blue, and broken. Crossbreeding can result in many other variations, such as gold tipped steel and chestnut agouti. They average 10–12 lb (4.5–5.4 kg) with the does being slightly larger than the bucks. New Zealands are bred for meat, pelts, show, and laboratory uses, being the most commonly used breed of rabbit both for testing and meat production. They are also bred as pet rabbits but mostly breed for meat.
Altex is a breed of domestic rabbit developed, beginning in 1994, for cuniculture, specifically for the commercial meat industry. The Altex breed is not recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) or by the British Rabbit Council (BRC).
The Rhinelander is a medium-sized breed of domestic rabbit that originated in Germany. Rhinelanders are known for their distinctive facial "butterfly markings", a spine marking, colored ears, cheek spots, eye circles and side markings of black with orange or of blue with fawn. The Rhinelander breed is recognized by the British Rabbit Council (BRC) and by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA).
The Cashmere Lop rabbit is a medium-sized rabbit with long dense fur. There is also a Miniature Cashmere Lop. The Cashmere lop was recognised as being different from the Dwarf Lop by the British Rabbit Council in the 1980s. This breed, which originated in England, comes in many different colors and weighs approximately 4-5 lbs.
The Lilac rabbit is a dove-blue coloured breed of domestic rabbit. A uniform pink shade of dove is called for by the breed standard, with matching eyes. Lilacs are mid-sized, docile and hardy rabbits. Developed in Great Britain in the early 20th century, the breed spread to the United States in 1922. Population numbers remain low enough that it is currently listed by The Livestock Conservancy as a breed to watch. The Lilac breed is recognized by the British Rabbit Council (BRC) and the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA).