22 May 2012 Have your say
Before her rescue Olivia was locked in a crowded wire cage, similar to those used to confine battery hens. If she'd remained in this cramped and unnatural environment she could have become one of the many rabbits who suffer abscesses and other injuries and illness as a result of this harsh and unnatural environment. If Olivia hadn't been rescued, she eventually would have been slaughtered.
When news spread earlier this year that a rabbit farm in Tasmania was for sale, Big Ears Animal Sanctuary, Radical Rabbit and Freedom for Farmed Rabbits hatched a plan to save the rabbits from slaughter or being sold onto another farm. They teamed up to purchase Olivia and her 300 rabbit friends. So began the huge task of rehabilitating and rehoming 300 rabbits to Big Ears Animal Sanctuary.
Olivia and her friends are now experiencing the great freedom of the outdoors, and more will soon join them once they recover from the respiratory problems, abscesses and injuries they suffered at the factory farm. For now the recovering rabbits are resting indoors and enjoying nestling on the laps of anyone who visits Big Ears Sanctuary.
Animals Australia's colleague group, Compassion in World Farming (in the UK), recently conducted an investigation into factory farming of rabbits in Europe, exposing many of the same problems that are faced by rabbits in Australia.
Information about the scale of rabbit farming in Australia is not easily found, but we do know that it is increasing. Last year in Victoria alone over 54,000 rabbits were slaughtered for consumption. Rabbit meat from rabbits shot in the wild (game meat) is also sold.
While we can't all buy up old rabbit farms, we can make a difference in the lives of rabbits. Factory farms exist because consumers unwittingly buy their products. By being kind to rabbits, rejecting factory-farmed, and choosing cruelty-free alternatives you can help ensure rabbits, like Olivia live a natural, happy and full life.
If you wish to find out more about this story or about Big Ears Animal Sanctuary visit: www.bigearsanimalsanctuary.com/rabbit-rescue.php
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