UK rabbit farms T&S Nurseries shut down by animal rights activists
This is #32 in our series of Instagram infographics on resistance against corporate power. (January 23, 2023)
Click here to see the full post on Instagram. A text version can be seen below.
What’s the story?
‘Rabbit Farm Resistance’ and ‘Shut Down T&S Rabbits’ successfully campaigned to shut down T&S Rabbit Nurseries farms in Rutland and East Bridgford in the UK in August 2022, by publicizing the living conditions for the rabbits, as well as how the company used a loophole to get around a 22-year old ban on breeding rabbits for their fur.
“Those rabbits, like all animals, deserve care and respect. No one should spend their life trapped in a cage or a hutch waiting to be slaughtered. We are overjoyed these rabbits will now taste love and freedom.” – Shut Down T&S Rabbits spokesperson.
T&S Rabbit Nurseries
T&S Rabbit Nurseries, owned by Phil Kerry, advertised £600 body warmers, £275 rabbit fur handbags and £200 scarves on their website despite the Fur Farming (Prohibition) Act 2000 that bans breeding rabbits for fur in the UK. T&S circumvented the law by raising rabbits for meat and selling the fur on the side.
Animal Rights Activism
Animal rights activists have long campaigned to shut down farms that raise animals for slaughter. ‘Rabbit Farm Resistance’ and ‘Shut Down T&S Rabbits’ were inspired by a decades-long campaign called Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) that successfully campaigned against Huntingdon Life Sciences, Europe's largest contract animal-testing laboratory.
Investigators first documented the living conditions of the rabbits by shooting undercover videos such as how New Zealand White rabbits were kept in cages that weren’t big enough for them to stand up in. They were also able to document that dead rabbits were being sold as feed to maggot farms to supply the fishing industry.
Next, the activists picketed T&S owner Phil Kerry’s other businesses which included glamping sites near Rutland Water Reservoir, and his quarrying business in Ancaster, Lincolnshire. Then, the activists started a door-to-door campaign to successfully defeat T&S plans for a rabbit farm and slaughterhouse in Derbyshire.
In August 2022, Kerry announced that he would shut down the two rabbit farms and hand over the remaining 250 rabbits to the Shut Down T&S Rabbits to take care of. He also announced that he was planning to set up an alpaca breeding ground on the Derbyshire site.
“Britain doesn't need rabbit meat and fur farms, we don't need to find new ways to exploit animals for our stomachs or our wardrobes.” – Ricky Gervais, actor and comedian, who created The Office sitcom.
"I was retiring next year anyway from rabbit farming but I have to be honest, the activists made the decision for me. It was also the sheer cost of security. I made the decision to give into their demands. We couldn't fight them anymore because they are too strong." – Phil Kerry, T&S Rabbits owner.
Text by Elena Rogozenska. Design by Elisa Emch. Layout: Paula Reisdorf.