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  Friday, Feb 15 2018 

Animal Welfare

Catching Cruelty

Mercy For Animals goes after abusive rabbit farmers

By Kenney Torrella, Mercy For Animals/Animal Equity photo


Mercy For Animals is calling for a stop to cruelty as depicted in this photo of a caged rabbit.


oday, international animal protection group Mercy For Animals is speaking out against the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) for continuing to allow the use of inherently cruel cages in its newly released code of practice for rabbits raised and slaughtered for meat. NFACC—which receives millions of taxpayer dollars to improve farmed animal welfare—has ignored the nearly 18,000 Canadians who urged NFACC to ban these cruel cages.

Most rabbits raised for meat in Canada are housed in cages so small the animals are unable to take a single hop or even extend their ears when sitting upright. Rabbits often develop excruciating lesions on their feet due to a lifetime spent standing on uncomfortable bare wire. NFACC is condoning this cruelty by giving farmers an appalling 20 more years to transition rabbits out of these tiny cages into cages that are just slightly larger. Canada continues to lag behind the European Union, which recognizes rabbits are sentient animals with complex needs and has mandated that, at a minimum, rabbits slaughtered for meat be raised in enriched park systems, which house rabbits in groups and allow for more movement and social interaction.

“NFACC has failed animals and the Canadian public by rubber-stamping the cruel practice of cramming rabbits into tiny, barren wire cages,” said Matt Rice, president of Mercy For Animals. “Time and again the factory farming industry has proved incapable of self-regulation, and now the taxpayer-funded group tasked with ensuring basic animal welfare standards can’t be trusted either. Fortunately, concerned consumers can still vote with their wallets by cutting back on or cutting out meat.”


As always, the best way for individual consumers to protect chickens and other farmed animals from cruelty is simply to leave them off their plates.


To learn more about Mercy For Animals and its efforts to help farmed animals, visit MercyForAnimals.org.


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