Fast Fact: Rabbit farming is a rapidly growing industry in Australia. Rabbits are kept in tiny wire cages all their lives, never knowing what it is like to run, dig in the earth or feel the grass under their feet.
In Australia, rabbits are confined on factory farms and killed for their meat. Rabbits are intelligent animals that love to dig and spend time with another rabbit companion. They form bonds with their companions and hate to be separated from their friends.
When they are happy, rabbits “binky;” that is they jump in the air, twist and kick their feet. While rabbits can live to be up to 16 years of age, this is not the case for rabbits on farms.
On factory farms, rabbits are:
- In Australia, approximately 120,000 rabbits are killed each year for their meat
- Fully conscious as they are strung up and have their throats slit in slaughterhouses
- Slaughtered at around 11-13 weeks of age
- Made to breed more than is natural, having about 8 litters a year instead of 2-3 like they would in nature
- Separated from their young in adjoining wire cages
- Often prevented from sleeping by the loud music farmers play in the sheds
- Confined in small wire cages so that they can’t move and play to get the exercise they need
- On the way to slaughter, rabbits are crammed together in tiny cages and deprived of food and water.
- Mother rabbits are called does, and they are kept as “breeders” for the industry. For these does, life is hard and exhausting confined in a wire cage separate from their babies.
On farms, does:
- Are often rebred through forceful artificial insemination within two weeks of giving birth, giving their bodies no time to recover
- Live in conditions that cause painful abscesses, bacterial infections and eye irritation
- Suffer respiratory problems due to the ammonia in unclean farms
- Rabbits raised for meat suffer in extreme confinement over their short lives. They are fed pellets instead of their natural diet of hay and greens. This unnatural diet, combined with the rabbits’ inability to exercise leaves them susceptible to injuries like broken spines.
WHAT CAN I DO?
The quickest way to stop the exploitation and abuse of rabbits is to stop supporting these industries. Share your concerns with friends, family and others about what the issues are. In addition you can also let the operators of these industries know how you feel. If these activities take place in your local area then contact your council and let them know. You can also contact your local MP’s to voice your concern.
HOW CAN I HELP?
Many people don’t realise that you can source all your nutrients from non-animal sources. Going vegan is the easiest and most powerful way to help stop the abuse and exploitation of animals for food or their products. As a consumer, the power is in your hands to choose not to support the industries that inflict cruelty on animals.
The most powerful tool we have to help animals is our voice. Once we learn about the cruel ways humans use animals for greed, profit or pleasure we need to help educate and inform others. To learn more about how to go vegan, go to veganeasy.org.
If you want to do more to help, you can support us by becoming a member of Animal Liberation WA, and signing up to volunteer!