19th May 2011
Watership Down author says No! to Nottinghamshire rabbit factory farms
RICHARD Adams the author of the much-loved classic Watership Down has joined animal group Viva! in condemning plans to build two intensive rabbit farms in Nottinghamshire.
The proposals in Granby and East Bridgford will house around 1,100 rabbits each. Cages three tiers high will confine the rabbits for much of their lives in large windowless sheds and the animals will be sent to slaughter at just 12 weeks old. Fears have been expressed that this could bring fur farming back in through the back door in the UK*.
Richard Adams says: Rabbit farming could not be undertaken in any practical way without acting completely contrary to the natural behaviour of rabbits.
Any economic plan, e.g. the cheapest practical consistent with business interests, would be bound to act in a way inconsistent with the animals natural behaviour. In all probability mass methods would be employed, which would involve cruelty.
Viva! campaigns manager, Justin Kerswell, added: Factory farming has hit the headlines recently, with a huge backlash against the zero-grazing of cows and the intensive farming of pigs. And now were talking about adding rabbits to the factory farmed masses? Rabbits are gentle animals and keeping them in wire cages or on the floor of an industrial unit denies almost all that is natural to them.
There is of course the worry that this could be the return of fur farming to the UK. It is illegal to farm solely for fur in this country**, but it concerns us that the fur could be sold as a by-product of the rabbit meat. Could this be the return of fur production by the back door? Whatever the reason, we believe that industrial farming of rabbits is wrong on many levels and we call for Rushcliffe Council to kick the plans out of Nottinghamshire.
Notes for editors
Viva! will be submitting official objections to the plans (10/02115/FUL and 11/00030/FUL) to Rushcliffe Borough Council before the closing date for objections (Friday, 20 May 2011).
East Bridgford: http://www.document1.co.uk/blueprint/Results2.asp?Acpt=115381844&CaseNo=10/02115/FUL&Dept=DC
* The Ecologist, Battery rabbit farm proposals could see return of fur farming to UK: http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/873540/battery_rabbit_farm_proposals_could_see_return_of_fur_farming_to_uk.html
** Law prohibiting fur farming in the UK: http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/cm199900/cmbills/006/00006--a.htm#end
For more details please contact Justin Kerswell on 0117 944 1000 or firstname.lastname@example.org