A video shot in the Pays de la Loire denounces the conditions for raising rabbits

Rabbits thrown alive in the trash. Others bloodied and stuck in the railings of a cage under their mother. Rabbits grabbed and thrown by the ears. And conditions of extreme promiscuity, leading to wasting away… In a shocking video posted online this Monday, October 17, the Nos Viventia association shines the spotlight on the rabbit industry.

Read also: Animal abuse. A Côtes-d’Armor rabbit farm in the sights of L214

The images were filmed by whistleblowers between July 2021 and August 2022, mainly at one of the leaders in the French rabbit meat market​, says environmental activist Pierre Rigaux. This is the Bocage Rabbit Production Cooperative (CPLB), based in Réaumur (Vendée), which claims a third of French production. The video, presented with the media magician Eric Antoine, evokes five farms linked to the CPLB, in Vendée and in Deux-Sèvres. A sixth, in Chemillé-en-Anjou (Maine-et-Loire), depends on Terrena.

The association wants to file a complaint

The association announces its intention to file a complaint against the CPLB and against certain breeders​. According to Pierre Rigaux, the deviations pointed out in the video are not isolated cases. It is eminently representative of the sector, which works like this at 99%​, he believes, taking as proof the words of a breeder: We do not keep bad females and young rabbits that are too small.

The production of rabbit meat as it has been systematized for decades is simply incompatible with the welfare of these animals.​, decides the association. And this despite the existence of quality labels, which in no way prevent these treatments​.

“A lot of progress”

A vision refuted by the sector. We are regularly attacked, with anxiety-provoking scripted videos that do not correspond to the reality of many farms​, deplores Guy Airiau, president of the Interprofessional Rabbit Committee and himself a breeder in Vendée.

Read also: “The tide is turning over cage farming”

Breeders have been questioning themselves for many years. And even if things remain to be improved, a lot of progress has been made​, he continues. And especially alternatives to the cage, with pens on the ground on gratings, with a lower density, outside the breeding period​.

Contacted this Monday morning, the CPLB and Terrena have not yet responded to our request. According to a 2018 IFOP survey, 80% of French people said they ate rabbit, but the share of regular consumers was down sharply.

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