Factory Farming Rabbits in CT? No Way!
CVA supporters were appalled, as were most animal lovers in CT, that as the country recognizes the elevated role of rabbits as household pets, the Connecticut Department of Agriculture (DOAG) chooses to initiate a program that will expedite killing and processing of thousands of rabbits for food.
Two committees of the General Assembly heard from animal advocates who said CT’s agricultural policy was out of touch with the views held by the State’s overall population. At the first hearing before the Commerce Committee (HB 5263) and then again just one week later, before the Environment Committee (HB5295), the legislature heard from more than 150 people across the state who adamantly opposed DOAG’s proposal.
The status of rabbits has changed significantly over time. They now represent one of the three most common household pets after dogs and cats. Rabbits are always included in efforts to stop the sale of companion animals in pet stores. Because of their role as family pets, industry leaders like Petco and PetSmart no longer sell rabbits; instead stores include rabbits in their adoption programs along with cats and dogs. The multi-billion-dollar cosmetic industry has rapidly moved away from using rabbits in testing programs due to consumer demand. When trying to sell rabbit meat, Whole Foods immediately stopped it within a year due to complaints from customers.
In a step towards a better future for both animals and the environment this February Governor Lamont traveled to Israel to convince innovative Israeli businesses to come to Connecticut. State Economic Development chief David Lehman is working to convince Future Meat to expand in Connecticut. It is one of two cell-grown meat companies met on the trade mission looking to decide where in the U.S. to spend $75 to $100 million and create 50 - 75 new jobs.* This is the type of innovation that DOAG should be promoting, not the antiquated and barbaric proposal reflected in its legislative proposals.
* New Haven Independent, Feb. 28, 2022, “Guv Gets Taste of Lab-Meat Economy”