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There is a new “white meat” coming to the forefront in the American food system, and it’s bad news for our cotton-tail friends. While still obscure compared to chicken or beef, rabbit meat has climbed in popularity over the past few years. Unfortunately, this has led rabbits to experience the same cruel treatment farm animals have faced for decades.

Crammed into small wire cages, stacked one on top of the other, bunnies on rabbit farms are often denied basic needs such as exercise, adequate space, and social interactions needed to maintain their well-being. In fact, the United States Department of Agriculture classifies rabbits as “poultry,” meaning they are not covered under the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act. This makes it acceptable for rabbits, like chickens raised for meat and eggs, to be killed in any manner one chooses.

Most of these farms are run by backyard butchers, which have even fewer regulations. However, a handful of commercial operations do exist and at the largest ones, up to 6,000 rabbits can be killed a week. One such slaughterhouse recently shut down its rabbit meat operation and thanks to some incredible rescuers, 24 breeding bunnies have been saved! Of this group, five very friendly cottontails – Dickens, Twiggy, Checkers, Celine and Mixy – will now spend their days free from harm at Animal Place sanctuary in California.

On the meat farm, these rabbits were crammed into small cages and constantly impregnated, only to have their babies taken so they could be slaughtered for meat.

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Celine, pictured below, even had a serial number tattooed on the inside of her ear. This is done so that the farmers can keep track of their “inventory.”

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These bunnies are now taking in every moment with joy. They especially love feeling hay and grass under their paws instead of metal wire.

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Animal Place’s Education Director, Marji Beach told One Green Planet that in spite of the cruelty they have faced, these rabbits are “incredibly full of life.” She continued, “It’s amazing to watch them experience freedom for the first time.”

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One of the best parts of being free is the ability to finally be with one another. Beach said the rabbits love sniffing every bunny and human they come across and are curious to learn about everything in this brand new world.

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Now, they’re also getting to know the sanctuary’s chickens, who are just as smitten with their new neighbors.

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The bunnies will soon by spayed and neutered and they will never be forced to breed again. These curious and lovable rabbits will finally have the happy lives they deserve. If you would like to help Animal Place care for these adorable fluff balls, visit Animal Place sanctuary here and support their efforts.

All image source: Animal Place



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39 comments on “EXCLUSIVE: Rabbits Saved From Meat Farm Hop Into Incredible, New Life! (PHOTOS)”

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George Kennedy-Stone
9 Months Ago

#BakaCultureMatters


Reply
Sajid Hussain
9 Months Ago

This is a good kindness and true love


Reply
Bas van der Valk
9 Months Ago

Karin Van Rijswijk


Reply
Mary Kay Duffy
9 Months Ago

blessings, blessings. every step forward. I could not swallow that misery, vegan for almost 40 years. It's fun, it feels great, join us!


Reply
Jennifer Novello
17 Feb 2016

Wow , 40 years!!! Yay!!

Dee Harris
9 Months Ago

Those aren't meat rabbits... there is no meat on a rabbit that small. I suspect a fake story.


Reply
Animal Place
17 Feb 2016

That is untrue, Dee. Multiple breeds are used for rabbit "meat" production. You will see one of the rabbits is a typical New Zealand White, commonly used. We cannot really fake an ear tattoo. This was a small organic farm with only 30 'breeder' rabbits. That they happened to use multiple breeds, from New Zealand Whites, to English Spots (all of which have historically been used for their flesh) does not diminish the suffering and exploitation these rabbits endured. We are grateful that all the "breeding" rabbits have been saved. You can see a photo of one of the girl's at the farm: https://www.facebook.com/FriendsofUnwantedRabbits/photos/pb.196201967179856.-2207520000.1455668077./730286437104737/?type=3&theater

Dee Harris
17 Feb 2016

These are dutch and mini rex... I raised show rabbits for ten years. Both dutch and mini rex are about 3.5 to 4 pounds LIVE WEIGHT. And this could be a county/ state fair photo.

Dee Harris
17 Feb 2016

Christi Rose Harris

Christi Rose Harris
17 Feb 2016

Um... Any idiot with a tattoo gun can create any ear tattoo...

Christi Rose Harris
17 Feb 2016

These ABSOLUTELY ARE NOT meat rabbits. They only weight 3-5 pounds at adulthood.

Christi Rose Harris
17 Feb 2016

So actually "animal place" you are quite wrong...

Christi Rose Harris
17 Feb 2016

New Zealand ARE meat rabbits as are Californians...

Animal Place
17 Feb 2016

Dee Harris: These are not mini-rabbits. They weigh between 5-8 pounds. Christi Rose Harris: No, they weigh 5-8 pounds. Not sure why the two of you feel so compelled to argue this point instead of being happy that these rabbits (who you can see lived in cages their whole lives) are safe at sanctuaries and rescues...even though all of their babies were sent to slaughter. Little baffling and sad. :(

Dee Harris
17 Feb 2016

Dutch and mini Rex do NOT get that big!!! I raised them! You don't have any proof of these rabbits living conditions, like I said this could have been a state fair photo. And they do not eat them there. They are shown for awards based on breed quality! Most of them are people's pets!

Dee Harris
17 Feb 2016

Dutch and mini Rex do NOT get that big!!! I raised them! You don't have any proof of these rabbits living conditions, like I said this could have been a state fair photo. And they do not eat them there. They are shown for awards based on breed quality! Most of them are people's pets!

Diana Romero
9 Months Ago

So happy


Reply
Sajid Hussain
17 Feb 2016

Can we try to we live happy

Diana Romero
9 Months Ago

So happy


Reply
Sharon Stewart
9 Months Ago

Oh mr rabbit you are looking fabulous!


Reply
Sharon Stewart
9 Months Ago

Oh mr rabbit you are looking fabulous!


Reply
Vivid Honey
9 Months Ago

Hoppy Happy Daze ❤


Reply


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