Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters


End the Cage Age - Make farming rabbits in cages illegal!

New Investigation: Caged Rabbit Farming 

October 2014 Compassion in World Farming 

Cages are one of the most inexcusable, outdated technologies in factory farming. They thwart many of a farm animalís natural instincts: to roam, to run, to seek companionship, to be alone, or simply to stretch. A cage makes it impossible for animals to express the behaviours that make their species unique. 

That is why Compassion has launched End the Cage Age Ė our ambitious, breakthrough campaign to end the use of all cages in EU farming. 

Why are we starting with rabbits? 

  • More rabbits are kept in cages than any other farm animal in the EU. 

  • Rabbits are the second most farmed species in Europe Ė over 330 million are reared every year (thatís more than all of the EUís pigs and cows combined). 

  • And almost all these rabbits are reared in cages. 

Rabbit farm investigations 

Through the summer of 2014, Compassionís Investigation Unit operated undercover in 16 separate rabbit farms throughout Italy, Greece, Czech Republic, Poland and Cyprus. What they found was appalling. 

Since Compassionís initial undercover work on Europeís rabbit farms in 2012, we have made real progress identifying humane alternatives to barren cages. But, sadly, this yearís wide-ranging investigation revealed just how far from humane most of Europeís rabbit farms are right now. 

Time and again, our team found unspeakable welfare conditions, the most barren environments imaginable, and hotbeds for disease, dependent on the routine use of antibiotics just to keep animals alive. 

The video footage and some of the images from the investigation may shock you, but this only goes to highlight why we need to act. Please take the time to sign the petition. Call on Members of the European Parliament and all 28 European Agriculture Ministers to demand legislation to end the use of cages in rabbit farming.

May 17, 2016: Today, representatives of Compassion In World Farming, delivered its biggest online petition ever to a meeting of Europeís Agriculture Ministers in Brussels. A big thank you to the 601,435 people who signed this petition calling on Europeís politicians to End the Cage Age for farmed rabbits. Letís get the same done for the rabbits in Canada!

March 14, 2017 EU Parliament backs measures to improve farmed rabbit welfare

MEPs have voted to back measures to improve farmed rabbit welfare, which will end the use of battery cages. The measures were supported by 410 MEPs with 205 against.The Commission will now be requested to initiate new legislation with minimum standards for the protection of farmed rabbits.

There are around 340 million rabbits slaughtered for meat in the EU every year and almost 100 per cent are raised in barren battery cages. Investigations on more than 75 farms revealed the pain and suffering that caged rabbits endure, including rabbits left with open and infected wounds and countless dead rabbits left to rot in cages alongside living rabbits, and even cases of cannibalism due to the unnatural and stressful conditions. "On average, the mortality rate of caged rabbits is 25 per cent.

Footage taken by Animal Equality investigators on rabbit farms in Spain and Italy was said to be instrumental in this landmark decision.

Help Stop Rabbit Farm Cruelty in Germany!

May 12, 2017 Care2 petition

To: Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt, Germany

I am concerned that most rabbits raised on German farms are kept in unsuitable conditions.

German consumers purchase about 30 million rabbits per year. A quarter of these are used for food, while the rest are sold as pets. But German's low standards for rabbit farming allow them to be kept in cramped metal cages. These terrible conditions cause injuries and sores on rabbits' paws, as well as emotional stress. Rabbits are naturally social animals who need room to hop and soft materials like wood to chew.

I understand that Germany's current rabbit welfare law is minimal. It only dictates the size and structure of the cages, and requires farmers to check on rabbits twice a day for signs of illness. I respectfully urge you to create legislation to ensure a better quality of life for farmed rabbits so they can get the exercise, space, diets, medical care and social interaction they need. Thank you for taking the time to read and consider this petition.

Related news: USDA Classifies Rabbits as Poultry; rabbit production in the EU; Codes needed; Australia. Whole Foods pilot project: Meet your "meat" rabbit

No laws to protect Canadian livestock rabbits; NFACC; letters; Colorado cruelty case tests definition; Meat Inspection Regulations; Codes underway for rabbits 2015; update 2017