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International Rabbit Day - Stop Plans to Build Rabbit Farm in UK


FOUR PAWS UK is using International Rabbit Day to announce its objection to plans to build a caged rabbit farm in the UK. 


FOUR PAWS UK has already raised  its concerns with the local authority in Staffordshire, after it became aware that a planning application for the farm had been submitted and was being considered.

Caged rabbit farming poses serious animal welfare issues and in no way meets the welfare needs of the animals. The rabbits spend their whole lives in small, shared wire cages which constrict their movement. They remain in these cages until they are sent to be slaughtered. As happens in all factory farming systems, many of the animals die before they reach the age to be slaughtered, due to poor hygiene and the spread of disease within the crowded outbuildings.

From the information we have gathered, it appears the applicant hopes to receive planning permission and intends, by the end of the year, to erect a new building in Staffordshire, to house caged rabbit production.

The development of an intensive Rabbit farm in the UK is both unnecessary, and illogical!

During the war years our parents and grand parents consumed Rabbit, often produced in smallholdings and back gardens. Post-war we moved away from eating Rabbit, and today little, if any, is produced commercially in the UK. In rural areas wild Rabbit is sometimes offered on menus, and indeed, both Waitrose and Marks & Spencer have historically stocked wild Rabbit as a seasonal line, but the demand, even for wild Rabbit meat is minimal.

Four Paws has contacted the Environmental Health Department of the local authority to raise  our concerns about the introduction of this kind of farming into the UK, which represents a serious backwards step for animal welfare in the country.

A selection of which are as follows:

  • To our knowledge, there are no abattoirs in the UK that kill Rabbits. Under EU Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 it is an offence to sell, or to supply to another person, meat that has not been slaughtered and health-marked in a licensed abattoir. Meat that has been slaughtered on-farm can only be consumed by the owner and their immediate family.
  • As a result of there being so little commercial Rabbit production in the UK, there are no specifically licensed medication / drugs for these animals. Rabbit production is known for it’s heavy use of antibiotics which the agricultural UK sector is trying to move away from.
  • Under UK law (The Animal Welfare Act 2006) the keeper of animals has a duty of care towards them. There is no evidence that the applicant has any farming qualifications or experience in farming Rabbits.
  • The rabbit industry in producing countries outside of the UK is starting to switch away from cage-keeping systems, so investing in a cage structure is not inline with where the industry will be moving in the future.


Act now! Please help us object to these plans and stop the planning application from being issued by leaving a comment here :