angora-012013 may have been the Chinese Year of the Rabbit, but you’d probably find it hard to find any happy rabbits in China!
PETA; People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, has released the following report, along with a sickening video; filmed undercover.

Revealed: The Agony Behind Angora Wool

Bleeding bunnies scream in pain as they are plucked alive for hats, socks, scarves and jumpers

Investigators found that sickening abuse of animals is standard practice on Chinese angora farms:

• Rabbits – who are extremely clean by nature – are kept for their entire lives in tiny, filthy cages, surrounded by their own waste, with little protection from the elements. The thin cage wires constantly cut into their sensitive footpads, and they never have the chance to run around, jump or play.

• Rabbits are in extreme shock after having their fur plucked out. One farmer admitted that about 60 per cent of rabbits who are plucked die within one to two years.

• Animals who have their fur cut or sheared also suffer. During the cutting process, they have ropes tied to their front and back legs so that they can be stretched across a board. Some are even suspended in the air, while panting heavily and struggling to escape.

• If they don’t die from the trauma of plucking or shearing, rabbits on these farms are generally killed after between two and five years. They have their necks broken and then are hung upside down and have their throats slit. Their meat is sold to local markets.

Rabbits are sensitive, smart, social animals. They can hop faster than a cat or human can run, have individual personalities and form lifelong bonds with one another. As you can imagine, they suffer intense pain and terror when they are imprisoned in tiny cages, are manhandled and have the fur torn from their bodies.
Please be warned, the video really is very upsetting indeed!
Also on youtube.

What You Can Do

angora-02Consumer demand drives the heartless angora industry. As long as shoppers in the West continue to buy angora hats, socks, scarves and other items, farmers will continue to profit from torturing rabbits. Ninety per cent of the world’s angora comes from China, where there are no penalties for the abuse of animals on farms and no standards to regulate the treatment of the animals.
The best thing you can do to help rabbits is to refuse to buy angora. And be sure to ask your family and friends to do the same.

logopetafooterPeople for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Foundation
PO Box 70315
London N1P 2RG
United Kingdom
+44 (0)20 7837 6327
+44 (0)20 7923 6242 (fax)
Info@peta.org.uk (general enquiries)

Elsewhere in China, rabbits bred for their meat live and die in terribly cruel environments, crammed together in filthy cages.
But don’t just blame the Chinese. It seems that these harmless, lovable animals are suffering terrible treatment all over the world.
In EU countries, mainly in France, Spain and Italy, rabbits are farmed in horrendous conditions.
Farming chickens in barren battery cages is now banned. So now the cages are used for rabbit production.
The chickens were able to grip the bars with their feet. But the poor rabbits, without floors, are living in extreme discomfort all the time.
Around 326,000,000 rabbits are sold in the EU every year!
They’re the 4th farmed animal in the world.
A lot of the rabbit farms investigated had filthy, ramshackle buildings.
angora-03Huge piles of faeces lay under the cages. They obviously hadn’t been cleaned up for weeks, or even longer!
Over 40 diseases can be transferred from farm animal waste to humans.
Up to 10 rabbits are crammed into one small cage. Diseases spread like wildfire, so the French especially, use more antibiotics on rabbits than they do on any other animal.
Nevertheless, out of 1,000 rabbits bred, 200 die.
There were bins full of dead rabbits on most of the farms.
In Australia, apparently thousands of rabbits are factory farmed, housed in dirty windowless sheds, similar to battery hens. The sheds confine rabbits to small overcrowded metal cages. They are kept in these cages until they are killed at around 1.5kg (usually 10-12 weeks of age). Their bodies are sold to restaurants, butchers and select supermarkets.
Although it is not known exactly how many producers are in business at one time, there are about 43 rabbit farms Australia-wide (except in Queensland). The average farm imprisons 300 breeding does per farm. With the growing popularity of rabbit meat, the amount of farms and rabbits is set to rise.
Global rabbit meat consumption is over 1.1 million tonnes. Approximately half this amount comes from farms. Raising rabbits for meat is frequently promoted as an easy and lucrative money-maker and often attracts people to the industry with little or no experience. There is very little government inspection of properties, with many rabbit farms going unlicensed and unregulated for years. Even rabbit meat labelled as “wild” can in fact be farmed, if the original breeding stock was from a wild population. Hence, despite the over-population of rabbits in Australia, farms are breeding hundreds of wild rabbit species and labelling them “wild”, suggesting they ran free until slaughter. These rabbits are raised and killed exactly the same way as all other intensively farmed rabbits.
angora-04In the USA, so-called “ag gag” bills proposed in states across the country would either require anyone who videotapes, photographs or records incidents of animal cruelty to turn over the evidence to authorities within 24-48 hours or prohibit the making of undercover videos, photographs and sound recordings on farms, depending on local legislation. It’s said that these laws protect agriculture business. Opponents say they hinder free speech, food safety and animal and worker rights. One such law, HF 589, has already become the law in Iowa and makes it illegal for investigative journalists and activists to take jobs at animal facilities
In recent years, whistleblowing exposés like The Humane Society of the United States, Mercy for Animals, and Compassion Over Killing have repeatedly documented inhumane treatment of animals, unsafe working conditions and food safety problems inside American factory farms and slaughter plants. These investigations are helping to expose notorious agribusiness industry practices such as confining animals in tiny cages where they can’t even turn around for nearly their entire lives. And the videotape evidence often has even led to meat recalls, slaughter plant shutdowns, criminal convictions, Congressional hearings and even new federal policies.But the meat industry’s response to these exposés hasn’t been to try to prevent these abuses from occurring. Rather, it’s simply been to try to prevent the American people from finding out about them. And we all know how the American Government deals with whistleblowers, don’t we? If their car doesn’t mysteriously blow up, they have to run and hide!
it’s now a crime in Utah to photographically document someone abusing an animal in a slaughter plant. In Iowa, if an agribusiness employer asks applicants if they’re a member of an animal welfare charity and they say no, but actually are – that’s not just grounds for firing; it’s a jailable offense.
These whistleblower suppression “ag gag” bills require that anyone documenting inhumane treatment of farm animals “out” themselves nearly immediately and turn over all their evidence before any pattern of abuse can be possibly be established.
You know that an industry has a lot to hide when it wants to make it a crime to document what it’s doing!
MYXOMATOSIS is a terrible disease. It causes lumps and puffiness around the head and genitals, followed by conjunctivitis, possible blindness, loss of appetite, then pneumonia, inflamed lungs, and finally, death.
It was discovered in Uruguay in 1896 and spread through South America.
The Australians field-tested it for population control in 1938, and then released it in 1950, reducing the rabbit population from 600 million to 100 million in two years.
But the rabbits gradually built up resistance to the disease, so the Australians released a second virus in 1996 – and yet they cruelly FARM rabbits!
Myxomatosis was illegally imported into the UK in 1953 on an estate in Edenbridge, Kent, to decimate the rabbit population.
Rumour has it that it was spread by poachers, who stole the infected rabbits.
Within a short time, 99% of British rabbits had been wiped out.
angora-05Nothing was done to try and control the spread of the disease.
Myxy, as it’s known, has increased and decreased in waves, but after more than 50 years you can still pass a suffering rabbit, stood there, looking confused and ill beside the road.
And now it’s back again in a big way, thanks to our wet Summer.
The fleas and mosquitos have increased, and a lot of pet rabbits are being infected, either by being bitten by a mosquito, or by fleas picked up by dogs.
Thousands of pets have had to be put down in the last few weeks.
Nobody knows how the wild rabbits are being affected by the disease yet.
Once the rabbit has caught myxomatosis, it’s too late to save it, so vets are urging all pet owners to get their rabbit vaccinated now.
What can you do to help stamp out this terrible worldwide cruelty to rabbits?
Well for a start, everyone must boycott all farmed rabbit. And then the wild rabbit will become more respected.
Write or email your MP, and also the Prime Minister, asking him to do something about this shocking scandal.
How could any Nation be so barbaric?
Rabbits are harmless, cuddly, lovable little animals.
This is the price we pay for cheap meat.
We wouldn’t treat our murderers like that!