ANIMALS: Controversial rabbit farm plan sparks 11,000 signature petition

A change.org petition has netted more than 11,000 signatures against proposals for a rabbit farm in Gnosall, Stafford.

A planning application from Romanian food wholesaler POE Limited has been submitted to Stafford Borough Council for consideration.

As well as the petition, the local authority has directly received more than 900 objections - the largest response the council has ever seen in response to a planning application.

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Writing on their petition, the animal rights group says: “Barren battery farming severely restricts the natural behaviour of rabbits. They are unable to hop, run, stretch out, stand on their hind legs (periscope), binky, or even turn around.

“This is severely detrimental to both the mental and physical well-being of the rabbit, and can lead to many skeletal issues, splay leg, sore hocks or the development of stereotypical behaviours such as excessive grooming and repetitive gnawing of the cage bars.

POE wants to breed rabbits for the purpose of selling their meat, skin and byproducts to an international market.

The firm claims the national demand for rabbit meat is steadily increasing and cite the rate in which rabbits multiply as a factor behind its wishes to tap into what they describe as a lucrative market.

There will be nothing for them to do and nowhere for them to hide. Suffering in European rabbit battery farms has been widely documented, and we do not believe it has any place in modern society.”

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Borough councillor Louise Nixon, who also objects the plans said: “ I am horrified to state that I have been contacted by a couple of residents concerned about proposals to build a rabbit farm in Gnosall. Their aim is to breed rabbits and use the rabbits' fur and skin to create mittens and gloves.

"Since 2000, the UK government has banned such activity. It is a considerable step backwards to be discussing this. As a previous pet rabbit owner with house trained rabbits I am utterly horrified that anyone would even dream this up.”

For more information on this petition click here or email press.uk@change.org