Publix Supermarket - Please End The Sale Of Pet Domestic Rabbit Meat

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In 2015 Whole Foods ended the sales of domestic rabbit meat while respecting the concerns of their customers.
Domestic rabbits are social sentient beings, bond with their mates for life and are the 3rd most popular companion mammal behind dogs and cats, while living in millions of family households.

Publix Supermarket sells domestic rabbit meat in the freezer supporting the slaughter of baby bunnies 8 - 12 weeks of age, young bunnies that spent their short lives in small crowded cages never walking, playing or running.  Domestic rabbits are born tame, being forced to live in inhumane housing while exploited for profit does not change that fact.

Public Health Notes on publix.com shows the photo of a wild rabbit (hare) in their rabbit meat description which appears to reference the rabbit meat they sell.  Quite the contrary regarding the tame pet breed of rabbits being sold in their stores.

THE INHUMANE SLAUGHTER OF DOMESTIC RABBITS
In July 2005, the USDA classified rabbits as “poultry, giving them the same protection as chickens and turkeys - which is to say none whatsoever.
By grouping rabbits with poultry, the USDA avoids having to include them in the 1958 Humane Methods of Slaughter Act (HMSA) - standards that exclude poultry. Among other things, this means rabbits may be fully conscious while being slaughtered. 
Although a processor may first attempt to break a rabbit’s neck prior to slaughter, rabbits raised for their flesh can be difficult to handle; consequently, they are killed using a number of other cruel methods, including a blow to the head, attempted stunning, decapitation, and slitting their throats. 

THE LIFE OF A DOMESTIC RABBIT AT SEELY'S ARK 
(Supplier to Publix)

According to Seely's Ark references, "their rabbits live in 2- by 3-foot cages, while the babies bunk with their mothers until they are weaned at about 6 weeks, the bucks in separate cages. Breeding doe live around two years and can have 10 to 12 litters in a lifetime; bucks are kept as long as they are productive, which may be six to eight years.  Baby bunnies are slaughtered at 8 to 12 weeks old at the processing facility in Ocala."

The rabbits can be seen in overcrowded conditions while living in small wire bottom cages, some stated kept for 6 - 8 yrs.  In 2014 Seely's Ark reported supplying Publix with 1,200 fresh rabbits a week when they reapplied in the frozen market.

According to Publix they have 1,152 Store Locations and have 774 stores in Florida alone.
Imagine walking into the frozen section and seeing a cat or dog packaged for food when millions of other animals are already being killed for human consumption. 
Customers of Publix have emailed, called and stopped patronizing some of their stores because the store carries pet domestic rabbit meat, Publix managers claim the rabbit meat is in "demand at $17.99" for a small amount of meat.  

Despite being one of the most popular companion animals in the country, rabbits are among the most exploited.  The inhumane life and death of domestic pet rabbits bred for food is reprehensible.  
We the Petitioners respectfully ask Publix to Stop selling pet domestic rabbits as food.

Please sign and share this petition and let Publix Supermarket know if you do not support the sale of pet domestic rabbit meat in their stores or the cruel inhumane life and death they endure being used for profits.

Publix Supermarket Facebook

Publix Supermarket Website

References

https://www.facebook.com/pg/Seelys-Ark-427920943926833/photos/?tab=album&album_id=774452235940367

http://www.tampabay.com/things-to-do/food/cooking/florida-farm-provides-rabbits-for-the-dinner-table/2170550

https://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/viewhtml.php?id=424

http://www.gainesville.com/news/20040124/farmers-aim-for-larger-market-share

http://publix.aisle7.net/publix/assets/food-guide/rabbit/~default

https://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/emergingissues/downloads/RabbitReport1.pdf

http://www.satyamag.com/nov06/hawthorne.html

https://www.animallaw.info/statute/us-food-animal-humane-methods-livestock-slaughter

https://www.animallaw.info/article/detailed-discussion-humane-methods-slaughter-act#IVA

http://www.rabbitadvocacynetwork.org/whole-foods-ends-the-sale-of-rabbit-meat/



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