Investigation reveals intense suffering on rabbit farms in Spain


Investigation reveals intense suffering on rabbit farms in Spain

17 October 2023
Despite a marked decrease in rabbit meat consumption, Spain continues to be the leader in production and consumption in Europe, followed by Italy and France.

In a new undercover investigation, AnimaNaturalis accessed 10 farms in Castilla y León, Catalonia, Aragón, and Castilla-La Mancha; some of the regions with the highest concentration of rabbit farms in the country. 

They discovered deplorable conditions and failure to adhere to animal welfare regulations. The images and footage obtained show animal suffering throughout the whole production cycle, from mothering and breeding to fattening.
Our research offers undeniable evidence that the rabbit sector is based on a cruel system, far removed from any minimally acceptable standard of welfare. The use of cages in itself prevents rabbits from developing any of their natural behaviours, which causes them a high level of physical and psychological suffering throughout their lives.
Aïda Gascón, Director, AnimaNaturalis

In 2020, The European Food Safety Authority reported that Spanish farms use the worst possible production system in terms of animal welfare and that 20% of rabbits die before reaching the slaughterhouses.

The European Citizens’ Initiative End the Cage Age, which received over 1.2 million signatures of support, made it clear citizens want to see the end of cruel farming practices that keep animals caged for the majority of their lives. 

Rabbits are particularly vulnerable since they do not have specific regulations that protect them. But their situation could soon change if the European Commission keeps its promise to review animal welfare laws in the coming months as planned.

Following the investigation, AnimaNaturalis is denouncing the mistreatment suffered by millions of rabbits in Spain and urges the authorities to immediately develop regulations that protect them and guarantee minimum conditions of well-being.