Reality of raising rabbits for meat in Spain
Rabbits in the livestock industry face a serious and underestimated problem in Europe. The lack of specific regulations for their welfare has led to inhumane conditions on farms, especially in Spain, the main producer of rabbit meat in the European Union. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has reported that 20% of rabbits die before reaching the slaughterhouses.
Although rabbit meat consumption has decreased in recent years, it remains the second most raised and slaughtered animal in Europe for human consumption, with 180 million rabbits per year. The future of rabbit welfare depends on legislative changes and public pressure.
Rescue: from darkness to light
We reveal the heartbreaking details of a nighttime operation that freed four rabbits from the terrible conditions they were living in. In the midst of the harsh reality that animals face on meat farms in Spain, AnimaNaturalis has managed to bring a ray of hope to these four lives.
A light of hope among the immense misery of the industry
What we want most is that each of the rabbits that live under the terrible conditions of the meat industry have the opportunity to run, jump, enjoy the sky above their heads, good food and the opportunity to live with their peers in decent conditions. and natural.
In the European livestock industry, rabbits face deplorable conditions due to the lack of specific regulations for their welfare. In Spain, the main producer of rabbit meat in the EU, 20% of rabbits die before reaching the slaughterhouses. The EFSA has denounced these conditions and the lack of improvements in rabbit welfare. Although rabbit meat consumption has decreased in recent years, it is still the second most raised and slaughtered animal in Europe for human consumption, with 180 million rabbits per year.
Production and Breeding
Rabbit farming conditions in Europe are extremely cruel. Breeding rabbits are artificially inseminated and impregnated repeatedly, causing mastitis and other health problems. Young rabbits face high mortality rates, often falling from nests or being crushed in inadequate cages. They remain in these narrow cages throughout their lives, unable to develop natural behaviors. Lack of hygiene and stress contribute to all types of infections. Rabbits live in overcrowded and dirty conditions, which encourages the spread of disease.
Life in poor conditions on rabbit farms leads to a number of diseases. Pododermatitis, myxomatosis, mastitis, and parasitic infections are common. High mortality on farms requires frequent use of antibiotics, which exacerbates health problems. Additionally, rabbits can develop skin, eye, and ear conditions due to stress and poor hygiene. Behaviors associated with stress, such as cage gnawing or excessive grooming, are common. Sick or injured rabbits often do not receive adequate veterinary care, worsening their suffering.
The sacrifice of rabbits is a final stage of their life full of cruelty. Stunning methods such as electrical or mechanical are often used before slaughter. However, these methods are not always effective and can cause prolonged suffering. Neck breaking is a common and inexpensive practice, but it requires skill and can lead to slow, painful deaths if not done correctly. Rabbits may suffer heat stress, prolonged thirst, or hunger during the slaughter process. The lack of welfare standards at this time further exacerbates the suffering of these animals.
Rabbit farming in Europe, especially in Spain, faces a significant decline. Rabbit meat consumption has decreased due to cultural factors and greater empathy on the part of consumers towards animals. Sector figures show a continuous decline in the number of farms and rabbits raised for meat. To support this trend of disappearing these types of farms, the European Citizens' Initiative End The Cage Age is pushing to progressively eliminate cages on farms by 2027. In addition, the European Commission plans to review animal welfare regulations in the coming months, which could be a positive step towards change.
The truth of rabbit farms exposed!
Spain is responsible for the suffering of more than 40 million rabbits in its breeding and fattening farms for meat. According to European authorities, these are the worst possible conditions in the European Union for this type of industry, and almost 20% of rabbits born in these circumstances die before being taken to the slaughterhouse.
We present to you what the industry does not want you to see
Let us make our voices heard to demand that authorities and companies commit to eliminating the use of cages in all intensive farms. The case of rabbits is especially worrying because, although it is the second most raised species in Europe for its meat, it lacks its own animal welfare legislation. They are a defenseless and fragile species. They don't deserve to suffer in these conditions!
Ending the era of cages!
The welfare of rabbits in the European meat industry is a pressing issue that demands immediate attention. The absence of specific regulations has resulted in inhumane conditions on farms, spanning from breeding to slaughter. Despite a decline in rabbit meat consumption, tens of millions of rabbits continue to endure these conditions.
Public pressure and initiatives like #EndTheCageAge represent crucial steps towards change, but more robust legislative action is necessary. The planned review of animal welfare regulations by the European Commission presents a pivotal opportunity to enhance the lives of these animals and ensure that their fundamental rights are upheld within the meat industry.
We demand immediately
We propose the end of factory farms. We can do without animal exploitation and we work to discover the cruel reality that the meat, egg and milk industry hides from us.
With special urgency, we demand:
That the regulations be modified so that the installations of the farms allow the animals to develop their natural behavior without restrictions.
Cage ban on all farms, regardless of species or production cycle.
Prohibition of tail and beak mutilations, removal of tusks and castrations without anesthesia.
Immediate ban on the live chick crushing system as a system for discarding males on farms.
Require a European label that informs about the production system to which animals for meat, dairy products and derivatives are subjected, thus avoiding consumer fraud.
Require own animal welfare legislation for species that do not have it, such as rabbits, turkeys and calves.
Veterinary care focused on the welfare of each animal as an individual and not only on ensuring the survival and productivity of the group on the farm.
The feeding of animals on farms should not only take into account fattening or survival, but the correct nutrition of the animals. It is impossible to talk about well-being if they are not offered balanced and adequate food for their organisms, not just a hypercaloric feed.
20 enero 2024
The adopter of Carlitos and Zuri, two rabbits rescued from the meat industry by AnimaNaturalis, expresses in a farewell letter how much their time together meant to her family.
10 diciembre 2023
One of our researchers reveals poignant details of a nighttime operation that freed six rabbits from the terrible conditions in which they lived. Amidst the harsh reality faced by animals on meat farms in Spain, AnimaNaturalis has managed to bring a ray of hope to these six lives.
06 octubre 2023
AnimaNaturalis conducted a revealing undercover investigation into these farms, shedding light on the extremely precarious conditions in which rabbits for meat are raised in Spain. This investigation reveals an atrocious reality that demands an immediate response.
21 diciembre 2022
AnimaNaturalis reveals an undercover investigation that took place between 2021 and 2022, exposing the detrimental conditions turkeys must endure in Spanish factory farms.
20 junio 2022
We enter the pig fattening farms in Spain, the first European producer and the second exporter worldwide.
04 mayo 2022
AnimaNaturalis carried out an undercover investigation into the rabbit meat industry in Spain. The rabbit is the third most raised species for meat in Europe, with about 180 million animals each year... and Spain is the main producer.
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