Rabbits: Code of Recommendations for the Welfare of Livestock (PB0080)

An Introduction by Ministers

Welfare Codes are intended to encourage stock-keepers to adopt the highest standards of husbandry. This new Code has been produced following advice by the independent Farm Animal Welfare Council and after consultation with a very wide range of organisations interested in the care of farm livestock.

The Code, which has the approval of Parliament, has been compiled along similar lines to those previously issued for cattle and pigs and takes account of five basic needs: freedom from thirst, hunger and malnutrition; appropriate comfort and shelter; the prevention, or rapid diagnosis and treatment of, injury, disease or infestation; freedom from fear; and freedom to display most normal patterns of behaviour. Included in the Code are recommendations on accommodation design, space standards, stockmanship and emergency precautions.

The preface to the Code identifies good stockmanship as a key factor in farm animal welfare. We are convinced that this Code is an essential tool for everyone concerned with the rearing of rabbits. We therefore ask you, and all involved with rabbits on your farm, to read it carefully and to bear its recommendations in mind at all times. The note on the opposite page explains the status of the Code in relation to the law of the land.

Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food

Secretary of State for Scotland

Secretary of State for Wales

Agriculture (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1968 Part I

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