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End the cage age for rabbits

News Section Icon Published 16/10/2014

We have launched one of the biggest campaigns in our history working to outlaw all cages for all farm animals across Europe. And we’re starting with rabbits.

Rabbits: the most caged farm animal in Europe

Our Investigation Unit has carried out an extensive investigation into rabbit farming in the EU, visiting 16 factory farms in five EU countries where rabbits are kept in small, wire cages, discovering horrific conditions that more than 330 million rabbits are being kept in across Europe.

Our investigator said of the conditions: “It was wall-to-wall wire – barren cages that offered the tiniest of spaces for rabbits to shuffle position.”

Factory farmed rabbits spend their entire miserable lives in battery cages: they are born in a cage and remain caged until slaughter approximately 80 days later. Breeding does, female rabbits, are often kept in solitary confinement for two years.

What are the alternatives?

Rabbits are the second-most farmed animal in Europe, but are not protected by species-specific EU laws. Barren cages are common, but alternatives are being developed and put into practice.

To help steer the industry towards higher welfare production, we will be launching a Good Rabbit Award in 2015 which will recognise food companies that are addressing the welfare of rabbits in their supply chains.

Food Businesses leading the way

Rabbits in an indoor higher welfare ("park") system
Kaufland are improving the lives of more than 490,000 rabbits per year

Last year, we presented leading German retailer, Kaufland with a Retailer Innovation Award. They have worked closely with their suppliers, Bauer, to develop a cage-free system for their meat rabbits which offer welfare benefits. In total Kaufland is benefitting more than 490,000 rabbits per year.

We also recently presented German wholesaler BreFood with a Rabbit Innovation Award. They have been working with their meat rabbit suppliers in China, Kangda, and have jointly invested in the development of an open pen system that gives the rabbits more space to move around and perform their natural behaviours, benefitting more than 1.2 million rabbits per year.

Read all about it

Our investigation was featured in The Sunday Times (content behind pay wall) as well as The Daily Mail.

Take action

Sign the petition to make farming rabbits in cages illegal.

Watch and share our new campaign film to End the Cage Age.


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