Animal rights activists celebrate as controversial rabbit farm firm ceases trading
A rabbit farm in Rutland has closed after facing sustained pressure from animal rights activists – including alleged cases of vandalism. T&S Nurseries, ran by Phil Kerry, set up a rabbit farming site at Lyndon Top Farm, close to Rutland Water, and previously submitted plans to expand the farm to breed 10,000 rabbits a year for slaughter.
However, the company, which also had farms in Nottingham and Buckinghamshire, faced significant opposition and scrutiny from residents and animal rights campaigners, including PETA, as it attempted to expand the business.
PETA gathered more than 21,000 signatures on a petition to block Mr Kerry’s plans during a campaign which also won the support of comedian, TV, and film star Ricky Gervais.
Now, Mr Kerry has confirmed he has decided to cease trading because of that pressure and the repeated rejection of his applications to expand the business.
(Friday, August 19), that he was pulling out of the trade. He said: “We’re passing over the last of the rabbits from the farm over to the activists tomorrow and winding down the rabbit farm business.
“I was looking to retire next year anyway, so pushing it forward a few months doesn’t matter to me. But we’re diversifying into other things such as vineyards, orchards, as well as going into the ‘glamping’ business, so nobody is going to lose their jobs from the closure.
“The legal activism outside the businesses through the day was one thing, but we had a lot of activists at night that caused us a lot more issues, especially graffiti and vandalism. One staff member’s car was even covered with paint stripper.
“We were very much a small base of operations for rabbit farming compared to what gets shipped in from Europe. So maybe the focus should be on that now instead.”
In a statement regarding the business ceasing trade, PETA’s vice president of programmes Elisa Allen said: “Animal advocates are jumping for joy over news that T&S Nurseries has read the writing on the wall and will soon be closing up shop – meaning no more rabbits will be bred and killed at its facilities.
“On these farms, sensitive animals spend much of their lives confined to barren hutches, unable to socialise or explore. Then, after enduring a miserable life, they’re hung upside down and their throats are slit so their dismembered body parts can be used for pâté, pies, and other “products”.
“Business owner Phil Kerry revealed the decision to cease trading was made, in part, because local councils repeatedly blocked his applications for new butchering and breeding sites – applications which tens of thousands of compassionate PETA supporters spoke out against.
“In a true sign of the times, the public has once again reminded animal-exploiting businesses that the only viable industries are those which don’t harm other living, feeling beings.”
The animal rights charity also said that it intends to send Mr Kerry a “box of vegan chocolate bunnies to wish him a happy retirement.”
Vegan chocolates – wonderful and the very best !