Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

Battery rabbit farms to return after a surge in popularity

03 May 2011
Battery rabbit farms to return after a surge in popularity

Battery rabbit farms are set to return for the first time in 15 years after a rise in the popularity of rabbit meat.

In January, Waitrose saw a 350% rise in sales of rabbit. According to the Independent, at least six planning applications have been launched by Philip Kerry of T&S Nurseries in Lincolnshire, for farms of up to 1,000 rabbits each.

The reduced cost of feeding has helped re-introduce the practice. The farm's facilities include a hydroponic pond in which barley grass would be grown, providing 60% of the rabbits' diet. Grain would provide the rest, with Kerry's company milling its own dry feed.

The RSPCA said it was concerned about the conditions on the farms, particularly the amount of space the rabbits were given: 250 does and 30 bucks would be kept in 110cm x 60cm wire cages. The doe would share a cage with her seven to nine kittens until they reached five weeks of age.

At that point the young rabbits would be housed on the floor of the barn with access to an outdoor run measuring 3 metres by 9 metres. The does would remain in the cages and be "retired" at four to five years old, when their productivity drops.

Kerry said he planned to house the rabbits in complexes that were as free-range as possible. He added: "We consume something like 3,000 tonnes every year, which is not an insignificant amount, but nearly all of it comes from Eastern Europe."

How reliant is the UK on imported food? >>

One in five restaurants make false claims over ‘local' food >>

Half of UK eggs laid by cage-free hens >>

By Gemma Rowbotham

E-mail your comments to Caterer News here.

If you have something to say on this story or anything else join the debate at Table Talk - Caterer's new networking forum. Go to www.caterersearch.com/tabletalk

Caterersearch.com jobs

Looking for a new job? Find your next job here with Caterersearch.com jobs

[Newsletters For the latest hospitality news, sign up for our e-mail newsletters.
The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.

close

Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking