The hellish life of breeding rabbits exposed in a shocking new video by L214

27.5 million. This is the number of meat rabbits (ie intended for human consumption) slaughtered annually in France. Against 4 million cattle and 23 million pigs. What do we know about the lives of those rabbits that end up on our plates? Very little, anyway. And new images taken last May on a farm in Ille-et-Vilaine, this Thursday, August 25, and commented on by several veterinarians, including the author of this article, are chilling.

We are a far cry from the living conditions of barnyard rabbits that were once bred and killed in the field, like Anemone in a cult scene from the “Grand Chemin”. Nadine, 71, grew up in a village in the Aisne and remembers that time. “At home, we always had a few rabbits in hutches. They lived on straw, fed hay, carrots and grass. It was a supplement of food and a little money in the piggy bank, the skins were sold for three francs and six sous to the merchant, who rode his bicycle and shouted in the street. rabbit fur! But today I wouldn’t be able to buy a rabbit in the supermarket”.

Raising meat rabbits has been industrialized for a long time and their condition resembles that of battery hens. More than 99% of rabbits live in cages, screened “from floor to ceiling”, with less than one A4 sheet as surface per individual.

Profitability before animal welfare

Sophie Dol, a veterinarian, outraged at the fate reserved for these animals, denounces “intense psychological and physical suffering”. And the two are closely linked. What is left of the notion of animal welfare when all natural reflexes of the species are prohibited? The rabbit is a very mobile animal and a natural prey: it jumps, stands, hides or stands to feel safe, spends half its active time exploring its environment… intensive agriculture. The feed, in the form of pellets, is exclusively intended to ensure the growth and fattening of the animals to a slaughter age of around 70 days.

No hay or straw in their cages, while raw fiber is needed for good digestive health and for rabbits to gnaw, a behavior unique to lagomorphs. And the overcrowding in the cages where the rabbits are crammed? The objective is twofold: occupy the least space with as many rabbits as possible. And more surprising: if rabbits had more space, they would be more active and, ultimately, grow slower, which would lead to a delay in slaughter age. Profitability is therefore a matter of time and space. But certainly not animal welfare.

a life of suffering

These living conditions cause a lot of injuries, such as injuries to the legs, when they are not trapped, forcing them to move on top of the wall. Deviant behaviors appear: stereotypies and aggressive peer reactions. It is also impossible to imagine that these animals are not under permanent stress, making them very fearful, but also, due to the weakening of the immune system, extremely vulnerable to infectious pathologies. Even more so when hygienic conditions are questionable.

Therefore, it is not surprising to note a high level of mortality, despite the massive use of antibiotics in the sector: one in four rabbits dies before they even reach slaughter age. The images released this Thursday by the association L214 leave little doubt about the lack of care given to sick animals on this meat rabbit farm, whose production is marketed under the Le Gaulois brand of the LDC group. name “Lapins LDC Nature d’éleveurs” or “the LDC Group’s approach to sustainable creation”.

Leaving intensive agriculture: the only solution

The animal defense association calls for the emergency closure of this production site, taking into account the state of health and the disastrous reproductive behavior of this farm. But it is also launching a petition for the French rabbit sector to commit, among other things, within 10 years, to exiting an intensive system that deprives animals of access to the great outdoors. Because the current state of scientific knowledge is clear: the welfare of animals intended for consumption is incompatible with maintaining this system of intensive farming.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *