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Rabbit Factory Farm in South Derbyshire Application Withdrawn After PETA Pressure

Swadlincote – After receiving nearly 2,200 objections from supporters of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), an application to build a rabbit factory farm in South Derbyshire was withdrawn today. If approved, this farm would have meant untold suffering for the hundreds of rabbits confined within its walls.

The application would have allowed for 260 breeding does at the end of three years, individually housed in suspended wire cages inside windowless sheds and forced to produce up to 52 babies a year. An online action initiated by PETA warned South Derbyshire District Council's planning department that, in addition to being a living nightmare for the animals, housing so many rabbits together is also likely to attract predators, which could threaten other farmed animals as well as companion animals and could spread diseases, such as myxomatosis.

"We're delighted that the applicants have seen the light – something millions of rabbits on factory farms never get to do", says PETA UK Associate Director Mimi Bekhechi. "Rabbits raised on factory farms rarely – if ever – smell fresh air or feel the sun on their backs until the day they are sent off to slaughter."

Rabbits are sensitive, social animals who, in the wild, build intricate burrow systems and have a strict hierarchy. Confining these normally gentle animals to cages denies them everything that is natural and important to them, such as foraging for food, tending to their young and even jumping. Does are treated as if they were mere breeding machines. This unnatural environment – which provides no fresh air or sunlight – can cause extremely painful bone disorders and foot inflammation, and stressed captive animals often resort to neurotic self-mutilation.

A copy of the planning application can be viewed here.