We launched our rabbit campaign in 2014, as part of a wider project to ‘End the Cage Age’ working to outlaw all cages for all farm animals across Europe. Today (17th May), after two years of campaigning, our petition calling for an end to farming rabbits in cages was handed in to the EU Council in Brussels.
A life behind bars
Over 330 million rabbits are still kept in cages across Europe. In our 2014 investigation we documented the appalling suffering that rabbits confined in tiny, wire cages experience throughout the EU.
Factory-farmed rabbits spend their entire lives in battery cages: they are born in a cage and remain behind bars until slaughter approximately 80 days later. Breeding does – female rabbits – are often kept in solitary confinement for two years.
50 giant ‘rabbits’ presented the petition, which has over 600,000 signatures, to highlight the plight of farmed rabbits raised for food across the EU and demand an end to the cruel and outdated practice of caged farming.
Our Senior Campaign Manager, James West, said: “Our fond childhood memories of Peter Rabbit and Bugs Bunny are at complete odds with the real lives of rabbits in the EU – crammed into filthy wire-mesh cages, pumped with antibiotics, with no sunlight or fresh air.”
The petition has been supported by well-known figures such as Romesh Ranganathan, Peter Egan and Kate Nash. Anita Jeram, author of family favourite ‘Guess How Much I Love You’, lent her talent to support the campaign by creating a series of poignant drawings illustrating rabbits’ natural instinct to hop, skip, and jump, which they cannot do in cages.
A need for urgent action
Affirming the need for urgent action, Olga Kikou, our European Affairs Manager, said: “It’s time for the Commission to sit up and take notice that people will not stand for such cruelty and suffering to go on behind closed doors any longer.”
Help Compassion to propel Europe towards the End of the Cage Age for ALL farm animals by giving a donation today.