Labour MEPs voted today for a report calling for minimum European standards for the rearing of farmed rabbits.
Paul Brannen MEP, Labour’s European Parliament spokesperson on agriculture, said:
"Currently in the EU, farm rabbits are typically reared in very small cages, with no opportunities to exercise and express their natural behaviour - they are provided with an area of less than the size of two ordinary A4 sheets of paper per rabbit - and there is a high rate of disease and mortality amongst farm rabbits owing to factors such as infectious diseases which occur with high frequency in the unsuitable conditions of the cage system.
"These conditions are as unacceptable as they are inhumane, and unless we have minimum welfare standards for farmed rabbits there will be no incentive to improve the conditions in which they are kept across the EU. And in Britain, we must ensure that any new European standards are maintained after Brexit - we cannot allow ourselves to become an offshore warren of low regulation and lower morals.
"As Gandhi once said, 'the greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated'. The Commission should listen to MEPs and immediately bring forward proposals to end the mistreatment of rabbits - no living animal should ever be subject to the grotesque conditions they have to suffer in."