Stop Battery Farming Rabbits in the UK

  • by: Judith B.
  • recipient: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, UK

Battery farming chickens is no longer legal in the UK. The intensive farming of rabbits in the same or worse conditions continues.

Keeping chickens in such a way could lead to prosecution, yet it is still, unbelievably, perfectly legal to keep rabbits, animals as intelligent, sociable and sensitive as cats or dogs, in battery-style units.

In these unspeakably brutal systems, rabbits are packed into wire cages with barely enough space to stretch, turn around or lie down, let alone hop, run or socialise. They have no bedding, no shelter and no opportunity to exhibit any sort of natural behaviour.

The RSPCA reports that rabbits are often kept crammed together with less space per rabbit than would be covered by an A4 sheet of paper. Breeding animals are often kept alone and the does forced to have litter after litter of babies before being killed after two years or less, when they can no longer breed so fast.

The current situation is intolerable. Tell DEFRA to immediately introduce proper welfare legislation for farmed rabbits.

We the undersigned are dismayed that the intensive battery-style farming of rabbits remains legal in the UK, despite being banned for chickens.

On animal welfare grounds, this is completely unacceptable. Rabbits have welfare needs comparable to those of a dog or cat. Farmed rabbits must be kept in spacious indoor or outdoor pens, not battery units, and should never be isolated, as appears to be a common practice for the bucks and does used for breeding.

We can hardly criticise other countries for their maltreatment of animals when such cruelty to an animal often kept as a pet continues.

Please see that it does not, and introduce comprehensive welfare regulations for farmed rabbits as a matter of urgency.

Thank you for your attention.

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