SIGN: Ban rabbit meat farming.

Rabbit farming is a small industry causing immense suffering. Join us in calling for a permanent ban to this cruel practice in Victoria.

Dear Gayle Tierney - Minister for Agriculture,

We, the undersigned acknowledge the immense suffering endured by rabbits in conditions of extreme confinement and unregulated animal welfare. We fully support a permanent ban on rabbit meat farming in Victoria. 

Rabbits reared for meat are kept in unenriched metal cages measuring roughly the space of a A4 sheet of paper where they are unable to perform their most basic natural behaviours. This confinement leads to long term physical and psychological suffering. 

Recent investigations in Victoria have exposed rampant diseases including zoonotic parasites.  Many rabbits develop severe injuries that entirely restrict their movement. Mothers are often unable to feed their young due to their severe mastitis infections. 

The rabbit farming sector in Australia has been on a steady decline for the past decade due to ongoing disease and welfare issues. From an approximate 560 farms, there now exists around 10 nationwide. Australia’s total annual turnover of the rabbit farming industry is approximately 0.005% of the gross value of Australian farm production.

In contrast to other species raised for food, rabbits are declared 'pests' across all Australian jurisdictions.  This makes their potential escape or interbreeding with wild rabbits a significant risk. They are also at high risk of contracting one of the many viruses released by government agencies to control the population of wild rabbits.

Consumers are becoming increasingly attentive to the conditions under which animals are reared. We have the opportunity to become leaders in animal welfare as we move away from unnecessary suffering caused by the extreme confinement of cages.

We urge the government to implement a ban on rabbit farms state wide to end this cruel farming practice.