In order to formulate an opinion on the welfare of rabbits that are kept in intensive rabbit farms, the Ministry of Public Health which is responsible for animal welfare, has installed in 2009 a specific Working Group (WG) on Rabbits within the Animal Welfare Council. In 2012, the WG reached a consensus and, the Animal Welfare Council advises the Minister to soon develop legislation on rabbit housing that brings about a gradual transition to enriched park systems for meat rabbits and does according to a timetable that takes into account the availability of the results of the scientific research on the matter. The Council has drawn up a step-by-step plan that also takes into account the depreciation terms of existing cages. From 1 January 2013 only enriched park systems for fatteners while still enriched cages for does may be installed. In all cages gnawing material should be provided and wire floors should be equipped with a comfort zone. From 2016, all meat rabbits should be housed in enriched park systems (min. 800 cm²/fattener) with exception of farmers who will close before 2020 or have invested before 2013 in enriched cages. From 2021off, all does should be housed in enriched park systems if studies in Belgium and/or abroad shows favourable results. In order to clarify the concept of “enriched parks”, minimum standards for housing meat rabbits in such system were drawn.
|Title of host publication||18. Internationale Tagung über Haltung und Krankheiten der Kaninchen, Pelztiere und Heimtiere,|
|Number of pages||8|
|Place of Publication||Giessen|
|Publisher||VVB Laufersweiler Verlag|
|Publication status||Published - 2013|
|Event||18th Internationale Tagung über Haltung und Krankheiten der Kaninchen, Pelztiere und Heimtiere - Celle, Germany|
Duration: 22-May-2013 → 23-May-2013