Animal Studies Journal


This paper explores the relevance of Henry Spira’s approach to the animal protection advocacy in the context of Australian rabbit meat farms. The Australian rabbit meat industry is a relatively unexplored area of animal protection scholarship. Of particular significance is the fact that, in contrast to the move towards ‘free range’ for other domestic species used for meat, there is no such thing, nor it seems will there ever be, ‘free range’ domestic rabbit meat. The status of ‘the rabbit’ as a pest species in Australia means that, in the domestic realm at least, the rabbit faces existence in a cage for eternity. The paper provides background on the legislative framework for rabbit welfare, sets out Spira’s ten-point approach to animal protection advocacy, and identifies the main animal welfare issues pertaining to the rabbit in the Australian meat industry. It then considers how Spira’s approach could be adapted to set an advocacy agenda for the Australian rabbit case study.