Last Saturday was a historic moment for the animal rights movement
with 202 rabbits liberated due to the closing of a UK fur farm
after a relentless campaign.
‘T&S rabbit farms’ was a company that initially planned to factory farm
thousands of rabbits for meat and fur but after backlash, moved to a
‘free-range’ system that has still seen hundreds, if not thousands, of
rabbits confined to tiny hutches while others lived in overcrowded,
dirty pens with no access to veterinary care.
There was a large protest of hundreds of people in September last year
at a T&S site in Nottinghamshire that saw two sick rabbits surrendered
to activists. Tommy and Juneau, as they were later named, had horrific
injuries as a result of mistreatment on the farm with one of them
suffering with a serious ear infection and the other missing a leg.
Another large protest took place last year at T&S’ Atlow site in
Shortly after, a new campaign group, ‘Shut Down T&S Rabbits’, was
formed. This, alongside other grassroot groups such as ‘Rabbit Farm
Resistance’ and impassioned locals managed to get multiple planning
applications for new T&S rabbit farms and slaughterhouses rejected in
Cornwall and Derbyshire.
Next the campaign focused on a T&S fur farm in Rutland, Leicestershire
and soon the local area was flooded with information about the well
hidden farm and regular demonstrations began taking place. The ‘Animal
Liberation Front’ regularly conducted raids on T&S farms liberating a
number of rabbits as reported by ‘Unoffensive Animal’, an
anti-speciesist and anarchist media platform that can receive anonymous
‘hit reports’ for publication.
Due to the constant pressure, the Rutland farm closed down and all focus
went onto the last active T&S fur farm located in East Bridgford,
Nottinghamshire. Months of undercover footage of the farm was released
showing the daily mortality of the rabbits due to neglect. Weekly
demonstrations became a normality for the otherwise quiet village with
many locals joining in protest of the fur farm. On the 7th of August a
camp was set up outside the farm at the entry of the village that has
been monitoring and protesting the farm 24/7.
On Monday 15th August, after a number of actions targeting the farm,
‘Goldholme Stone’ a quarry owned by Phil Kerry, the owner of the now
closed T&S rabbit farms, was blockaded. According to police this cost
the business £30,000. Just days after, the campaign was contacted by one
of Phil’s employees on his behalf announcing the closure of the fur
farming business and that all the remaining rabbits could be collected
ok Saturday 20th August.
A huge effort involving multiple rescues has been coordinated and we are
now set to take approximately 250 rabbits to freedom. A crowdfunder with
the target of £100,000 has been set up to cover basic medical costs for
the rabbits and there will be a crowd of locals and animal rights
activists from across the UK coming to witness this momentous occasion.
A spokesperson from Shut Down T&S Rabbits has stated: “We couldn’t be
happier with the result, years of work has gone into this campaign with
one goal, freeing the T&S rabbits and preventing anymore of them
suffering. We thank everyone who has helped achieve this from the
incredibly supportive locals to the people who circulated thousands of
leaflets to every single person who objected to planning applications
and showed up to demos to the unknown activists who broke into these
farms and liberated rabbits.”
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE SEE CONTACT AND LINKS BELLOW
A number of activists and locals will be available for interview on the
day and if you any further questions please email:
Facebook: Shut Down T&S Rabbits