Domesticated rabbits used in research and farmed
Sadly - throughout all of this the fact that these are animals that feel pain, have complex emotions and relationships with one another, are viewed as commodities and there is a total disregard for their emotional well being. It is appalling that animals are still “property” under current Canadian law. They are owned like an inanimate object, not like the living being they deserve to be valued at.
At the moment the Department of Environment’s Meat Inspectors are the ones who investigate any complaints regarding the care and welfare of farmed animals including farmed rabbits.
There are a very limited amount of these inspectors - only 4 for the entire province. Sadly this limited workforce is unable to cover the vast and various amount of farms and abattoirs in Nova Scotia so many farms are not even visited on an annual basis.
The current standards laid out in the Meat Inspection Act for Nova Scotia are focused mostly on the operation of facilities that keep animals for food production.
It outlines such things as; lighting, husbandry, personnel, signs of illness and disease and their end of life procedures.
Animal protections laws in place
In this province, rabbits are used in testing and research as well as farmed for their fur and meat. Rabbits are considered property under the law. Since they are also kept as pets, they fall within a real grey area of the law.
They do not have the same protections afforded to them that cats and dogs do, nor do they have the same protections afforded to other animals farmed for their meat and fur. Rabbits are loving, sentient beings and deserve better!