Members of the association L214 entered a farm in Nuey-les-Aubiers (Des Sèvres). They found extreme conditions of intensive farming with cells the size of a sheet of paper.
Twice members of the association L214 took pictures at this Deux-Sèvres farm to denounce the particularly deplorable conditions in which these rabbits are kept in cages.
According to L214, the first series of images was taken on May 31, 2019, and the second on August 11, 2019. Thus we find the intensive rearing of rabbits raised for their meat. This farm, located in Nueil-les-Aubiers (Deux-Sèvres), has about 8,000 rabbits locked up for life in metal cages. The images show animals slaughtered to extreme density, with living space of just over one A5 sheet per rabbit (i.e. approximately 15 cm x 21 cm).
In the pictures taken by the association, we see rabbits with injured legs near the wire mesh floor of the cages, as well as dead rabbits among the living.
The association also denounces the use of many drugs (including antibiotics, antiparasitics and vaccines). Also in line with L214, the breeder also uses equine chorionic gonadotropin (ECG, formerly PMSG). This hormone is used to synchronize female estrus before artificial insemination. This hormone is extracted from the blood of pregnant mares.
A notebook was also found at the scene. The breeder maintains a balance for each batch of rabbits. For example, it is noted that 500 females are inseminated in 420 actual farrowings. 3700 rabbits are kept and over 200 rabbits are destroyed (usually knocked out on the edge of the box).
Sebastien Arsac (Director of Investigations L214) explains how this investigation was conducted.
“We were warned by a man who knew about this breeding.” The building is completely closed and has no windows. This is hell for these animals. After two and a half months, the rabbits are sent to the slaughterhouse. They will never see the light of day. They live in cages with a wire floor that makes their legs hurt. Almost a quarter of rabbits (22%) die before they even reach slaughter age.
Every year, 25,000 rabbits leave the farm. During childbirth, when too many rabbits are born, the breeder sorts them and knocks them out on the edge of the box.
Rabbit breeding is the sector where antibiotics are given the most among all sectors of agriculture.
– Sebastien ArsacDirector of Investigations L214
Every year 30 million rabbits are killed in slaughterhouses.
In France, 30 million rabbits are slaughtered every year in slaughterhouses. This is more than the number of pigs (24 million) and cattle (4.6 million) combined. Mortality in rabbit farms is 22%: more than 8 million rabbits die before reaching slaughter age. Over 99% of rabbit farms keep rabbits in cages, and no regulations specifically govern this activity. Of all farm animals, rabbits consume the most antibiotics.
Please note that some images may offend the feelings of some
Behind Gilbert Mouton, professor of the veterinary school, rabbits are not suitable for these industrial farms. “We have to treat them with drugs, antibiotics, supplemental feed and parasiticides to keep the animals alive in these farm conditions.”
You should also be aware that hormones are used in rabbits to synchronize rabbit estrus. Pesticides are even used to maintain a certain level of sanitation in cages and buildings. Rabbits receive three times more antibiotics than pigs because they are more sensitive and intolerant of factory farming. Therefore, we must constantly supplement them in order for them to survive.
This is a very fragile look.
– Gilbert Moutonprofessor of veterinary school
The Animal Relief Foundation is looking into the possibility of eliminating these farms. 30,000,000 rabbits are slaughtered on rabbit farms in France and European rules are not always respected.
Production in Poitou-Charentes
The Deux-Sèvres department is the third largest rabbit department in France. It stands just behind its neighbors in Maine-et-Loire and especially in the Vendée, being the undisputed leader in the production of rabbits in France.
In France, 90% of production was destined for the national market. But the French market is in decline. In 2017, the French ate an average of 590 g of rabbit, i.e. 10% less than in 2016. This represents less than 1% of per capita meat consumption.
There are 92 intensive farms in Deux-Sèvres. What is called “rational production”, in contrast to the so-called family production.
Poitou-Charentes remains the leading rabbit slaughtering area in France, which is a rabbit farm with a significant impact on the economy of our former region.