Refuse Planning for an Intensive Rabbit Farm in Rutland

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A third application has been put forward by Phil Kerry of T&S Nurseries - who are, in a nutshell, a rabbit farm 'franchiser' - to open an intensive rabbit farming facility in Rutland. We the undersigned believe rabbit farming has no place in the 21st century and that this "farm" should simply not be allowed to come into fruition.

The plan is to exploit 250 female rabbits to produce upwards of 10,000 rabbits per year for the meat and fur industry. We object to this for a great number of reasons which I shall briefly outline below, but at the core we do not believe these sentient animals should be subjected to this cruel life and untimely death. 

Rabbits are complex individuals who deserve so much more than to be used in this way. They are naturally fearful animals who do not cope well in a farming environment. Currently in the UK, a fatal, incurable disease named Rabbit Viral Haemorrhagic Disease 2 (RHD2) is spreading at near epidemic proportions. Keeping so many rabbits in close proximity puts them at risk from this disease which causes an agonising death. RHD and Myxomatosis are also prevalent in the UK. There is no mention of whether there are plans to vaccinate the rabbits within the proposal, nor are there any other outlines on how to combat the spread of disease in general. There are no specific drugs licensed for use in rabbits in the UK, due in large to the lack of commercial rabbit farming here. Will ill rabbits simply be culled? 

The proposed location is near Rutland Water, a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a beautiful tourist attraction which deserves not to be blighted with a facility such as this. It will also pose a threat to this water source and its tributaries, with no clear explanation in the application outlining how they intend to keep their operation from contaminating it. Everything in the application appears to relate to human waste linked to the proposed onsite dwelling, but farming on such a scale will undoubtedly produce a great deal of animal waste, and thus poses a threat to local residents, visitors and wildlife. 

T&S Nurseries, as mentioned above, are basically a company which offer "franchised" rabbit farms. They came under fire previously for proposing to keep rabbits in a battery cage system, and there is nothing to say they do not intend to return to this system. To even once consider this cruel type of system shows they simply do not have the rabbit's best interests at heart, and they should not be in charge of a facility where the lives of sentient beings are at their mercy. 

Another disturbing fact is that T&S also produces and sells rabbit fur, under the guise that it is a 'byproduct' of their meat production. Fur farming was outlawed in the UK in 2000, and you cannot help but consider the real possibility that this is a fur farm under the guise of a meat farm, considering the demand for rabbit meat in the UK is non-existent. 

We cannot allow this outdated and unnecessary farm to go ahead. There is no demand for rabbit meat in the UK, most people are repulsed at the thought of consuming the UK's third most popular pet. People are in fact choosing to avoid animal products altogether in record numbers. There is simply no need for an intensive rabbit farm in this day and age.