This industry is little known for good reason; those running the industry would rather you did not witness how they operate their businesses. Here is your opportunity to find out why.
Animal Liberation has conducted a thorough investigation of the rabbit meat industry in Australia. What we found was horrifying.
Footage from a variety of farms show dead and decomposing rabbits left in cages, rabbits showing stereotypical behaviours including excessively biting the bars of the cages, and evidence of infection and/or disease.
Investigators account, "I recall being taken back by the smell of the place- it was like a burning ammonia smell that made my eyes water. These places are smelly, dirty, and dusty- I wanted to leave immediately. I can’t imagine how horrible it must be for these animals to live there every day."
"I saw several rabbits with overgrown toe nails that had not been trimmed. These rabbits appeared to struggle on the wire mesh caging as their nails wrapped around the wire flooring making movement difficult." The Model Code of Practice for the Intensive Husbandry of Rabbits states: "The nails of adult rabbits may have to be trimmed periodically to prevent them catching on the wire mesh of the cage." (3 p7)
"Loud music played inside the sheds- I think it was used to mask outside noises frightening the rabbits who would try and jump in their small cages in an attempt to flee. However the music seemed to cause more stress- I imagine they struggled to sleep with the constant noise and light." Lights are often used at night time to increase feed uptake of rabbits (and therefore weight) who are more likely to eat when awake.
"Severe overcrowding was an obvious issue- the rabbits could hardly move. The cages themselves were barren; no bedding was given to the rabbits being grown for their meat."
"Some rabbits really struggled with the wire flooring. Filming from underneath I could see how much the mesh pushed into the bottom of their feet. Some of the kittens actually became stuck in the wire mesh and their little feet slipped through the holes."
"Under the cages masses of fur and faecal matter where in huge piles. They were covered in insects who were also feasting on rabbits who had died inside cages." The Model Code of Practice for the Intensive Husbandry of Rabbits states: "Ailing or injured rabbits should be treated promptly." (3 p8)
Health issues were also prevalent in our investigation with rabbits that were dead and decomposing, and others that had patches of fur missing. Efforts to assist these animals or to remove dead animals do not seem to have been made.