Animal Equality speaks out for rabbits in European Parliament

United Kingdom, Brussels
On Tuesday 22nd June, representatives from three of our European offices visited the EU Parliament in Brussels to support an initiative to outlaw battery cage farming of rabbits in Europe.


Every year, 326 million rabbits are slaughtered in the European Union – and there are currently no legal provisions to protect them. This means that 99% of the rabbits are kept in small wire cages with little more space than an A4 sheet of paper.

More than 60% of all rabbit farming in the EU takes place in Italy and Spain. In both countries Animal Equality has repeatedly documented horrible conditions of rabbits in battery cages. In Spain alone we have documented 70 rabbit farms and 4 slaughterhouses and in each and every single one we have found evidence of ill treatment as well as severely injured or suffering animals.

Our investigators have seen rabbits with open wounds, painful eye infections and even rabbits whose ears have been bitten off by their stressed companions. Due to these poor conditions up to 30% of farmed rabbits die or are killed even before arriving at the slaughterhouse – that percentage is higher than with any other farmed animal.

Our investigations into rabbit farms show that injured or sick animals are often clubbed on the head with a metal bar, or smashed to death against the ground. Sometimes they are thrown into containers while still alive and are left there with no food or water until they die.

This was a unique opportunity to present our footage and findings in the European Parliament. The event, which was organised by Compassion in World Farming and the MEP Stefan Eck, forms part of an ongoing campaign for a Europe-wide ban on battery cages for rabbits.

The proposed ban is likely to be discussed in the Agriculture Committee of the European Parliament in September, and be voted on by all MEPs in late 2016 or early 2017. When that time comes, we’ll need your help to make sure the Parliament votes in favour of a ban.