Connecticut Should Let Small Farmers Slaughter Their Rabbits on Their Farms

Connecticut bills could help small farmers raise rabbits in Connecticut and make selling their meat easier. One Standalone billThe law would permit farmers to process and sell up to 1000 rabbits each year. This is the Other billsContains similar language and other provisions that are not related to rabbits. The state can also inspect on-farm slaughter plants under both bills.

A mechanism to allow small farmers, such as those who raise rabbits on their farm, to kill them is needed. Hartford Courant This articleThis week’s details are clear. This week, the system has been set up. [slaughter rabbits]”It is inefficient relative to all other types,” Daniela Larese from Connecticut, who raises pastured chickens, pigs and goats on approximately 40 acres, said to the CourantThis week. “We need legal clarification.” Larese says she was a rabbit farmer, but that it wasn’t economically feasible due to costs associated with slaughter.

Then again, CourantNot everyone is onboard, but Connecticut’s small farmers support the bills.

“[A]Many nimal rights activists from outside the state, and sometimes even the country have attended hearings to protest the bills.” Courant reports.

Some people even believe that rabbits shouldn’t be considered food. And others—including a former Connecticut lawmaker—have completely mischaracterized the bills as some sort of nefarious takeover by large agricultural interests.

According to CourantSome activists assert that “there is very little demand” for rabbit meat, while others say there’s a market but the public won’t support it. These criticisms are “ignorant,” according to a specialist in state agriculture extension. In the article, restaurateurs are quoted Courant piece say the demand for rabbit meat generally—and locally raised meat specifically—means they’d add it to their menus if it were available. The animal-rights activists, however, don’t seem concerned.

Separate op-edIn the Courant this week, Diana Urban, a former Connecticut state lawmaker who opposes eating rabbits, contrasts what she characterizes as “a significant national movement encouraging a transition to more plant-based diets” with small farmers in Connecticut raising rabbits for food, which she conflates—either disingenuously or out of sheer ignorance—with “confining and slaughtering animals at factory farms.”

Urban closes her appeal to data. She writes that she worked tirelessly in her years as a General Assembly member to demand data-driven decisions-making in order that Connecticut wouldn’t be hampered by inane legislation that creates more bureaucracy and drags Connecticut backward.

Okay, then.

I suppose I could appeal to hearts—a caring public It willAllow a market to sell rabbit meat—but I won’t. Here are some useful data instead:

  • Rabbit is a popular food. There are many culturesThere are many options, such as Greek, Ukrainian, or Chinese food.
  • Additional states are also available, such as Indiana, Maine, MarylandPlease see the following: PennsylvaniaSimilar exemptions are available in other states for small farmers who wish to rear and kill rabbits on their farms.
  • Beyond Factory Farming has more information. NotesFarmers being able to kill animals at the farm is “preferable for humane purposes.” Prohibiting small farmers from processing their own rabbits means that—given consumer demand—those rabbits are more likely to be raised on those same “factory farms” that Urban wrongly invokes in her criticism of the Connecticut bills.

Connecticut allows small-scale farmers to currently slaughter as many as 20,000 chickens under its current regulations. This exemption is common. Rabbits are not, however, chickens. The other species that are not included in the above list is Swappable and eminently possibleCompeting in the kitchen (cartoonishly, anthropomorphically), for the title most irritating Looney Tunes characterHow does rabbits relate to chickens? It’s not a huge amount. However, federal and state regulations encourage them to treat them similarly. For example, California’s state agriculture department NotesIt says that on-farm slaughter is handled in the same way as poultry.

Contrary to cows and porks, rabbits are considered a “specialty” by the USDA.non-amenable“Species” refers to rabbits that are raised for their food and therefore do not have to be slaughtered or processed by the agency. Instead, federal rulesState that rabbit farmers are those who rear them to be sold for food. MayYou can, but not required to, have your animals killed and processed in a USDA-inspected facility.

Indeed, Connecticut’s proposed rabbit exemption is akin to the USDA’s exemption for small poultry farmers—a carveout that requires a state to opt in for it to be in force. It is the Bird exemptionsSmall farmers who meet the requirements can slaughter as many as 1,000 birds or as many birds and as many birds (or modified versions) of these birds. This is where rabbits can fit in.

Many states adopt the Poultry Products Inspection Act’s federal exemptions. This includes some regulation regarding the processing and raising of rabbit meat,” Alexia Kulwiec is an attorney, who heads the non-profit. Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund(FTCLDF), which I am a member of the board. These exemptions permit the sale of rabbits and poultry on-farm without having to use inspection facilities. A clear statute that allows for the processing of rabbits on farm would be beneficial to local farmers and provide a source of protein for interested buyers.” 

As such, FTCLDF Map indicates, the great majority of states have chosen to adopt both the 1,000- and 20,000-bird exemptions for on-farm poultry slaughter, while only two states—Arkansas and Kentucky—have not adopted any such exemptions. However You can slaughter 20,000 chickensWhile 1,000 chickens or 1000 birds may seem like a lot to some, this is not even an insignificant amount of poultry. Take into account, PETA laments. Click hereThat’s about 9 BillionThis country kills chickens each year for their food. Surprisingly, the PETA figure is not. Conservative.)

The majority of These are the peopleSo-called factory farms raise chickens. Current and former Connecticut legislators will pass the bill if they care as much about the rabbits that they do about the chickens being humanely killed on small state farms. Also, I’ll order locally grown rabbit raguThe next time I dine in Connecticut, it will be this.