Fran Healy, the lead singer of indie rock band Travis, is hopping mad following the submission of a planning application to build an intensive rabbit farm in his native Staffordshire. Healy joins over 17,000 locals and concerned members of the public who’ve signed a PETA petition urging the Stafford Borough Council to reject the application, which, if approved, would condemn countless rabbits to lives of misery. Campaigners warn that the proposed farm could also pave the way for fur farming to sneak through the back door, as it appears the farm would derive a substantial part of its profits from selling rabbits’ skins – despite fur farming being illegal in the UK.
“PETA, Fran Healy, and thousands of concerned citizens are urging the Council to see the light – something rabbits on factory farms seldom get to do – and reject this application”, says PETA Director Mimi Bekhechi. “Rabbits raised on factory farms rarely, if ever, smell fresh air or feel the warmth of the sun on their backs before they’re sent off to slaughter.”
As PETA warns in its petition, the cages that the rabbits would be kept in appear to be only around 70 cm long and 40 cm high, meaning that the rabbits would be unable to stretch out, rear up on their hind legs, hop, dig, or carry out other natural behaviour. It’s also likely that they would be kept in individual barren cages without any enrichment or bedding, causing great distress for the highly social animals.
The proposed farm would probably also generate large quantities of environmental pollutants, such as manure and toxic chemicals, and the resulting contamination of water supplies could have a negative impact on wildlife. On a larger scale, the meat industry is among the main contributors of the greenhouse-gas emissions that cause climate change.
PETA’s letter to the Stafford Borough Council is available upon request. For more information, please visit PETA.org.uk.