Stop Cruel Rabbit Farming in Europe

  • by: Judith B.
  • recipient: Dacian Ciolos, EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development

Millions of rabbits in the EU are raised in appalling conditions, crammed into bare cages with no more space than a battery hen. Barren battery cages for hens might be banned, but rabbits are still suffering intensely.

Most rabbit meat comes from factory farms, with the average system allowing no more space per rabbit than an A4 piece of paper. The rabbits can't move more than a few inches and they don’t have places to sleep, bedding or any other of the most basic things a rabbit needs.

There is no excuse for rearing rabbits in this brutally cruel manner. One alternative, raising family groups in pens with separate areas for sleeping, nesting, eating and exercise, is already the system for rabbit meat marked as "high welfare".

Ask the EU to introduce proper welfare standards for rabbits as soon as possible.

We the undersigned request that you introduce much higher welfare regulations on rabbit farming. At the moment, most farmed rabbits are kept in conditions no better than those of the battery systems once used for hens, the rabbits being kept in barren cages with almost no room to even move let alone exhibit natural behaviour.

At the absolute minimum, farms must provide enough space that the rabbits can move properly, including being able to stretch, hop and stand on their hind legs, provide hiding/sleeping places, keep the animals in groups and provide bedding material. Anything else is gross abuse and goes against the EU's usual standards on animal welfare.

Thank you for your attention.

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