Why Are Rabbits Difficult to Source?
We know a lot of your pets love to get their paws on some rabbit. And as a parent, you might have found that rabbits are not easy to come by. As soon as as Top Quality Dog Food gets rabbit in stock, it does not take long for them to sell out. On top of that, it is not always clear when more will be coming in. We believe in full transparency and want to explain why that is, as well as inform you of another challenge rabbits are facing today.
Not every rabbit in the market is good rabbit and it is important to know their source. If you are buying from a pet food manufacturer that has a never-ending supply, it is possible they are sourcing rabbits from a CAFO or a concentrated animal feeding operation. Globally, the market for rabbit has increased with 63% of rabbit meat being sourced from China, then Korea and Spain. PETA investigators witnessed cruel living conditions and inhumane slaughtering practices in one of China’s rabbit farms. For this reason, we only purchase domestic-raised rabbits, that are humanely slaughtered without the use of CO2. If you are purchasing from a company that does not disclose information on their rabbit sourcing, we encourage you to reach out and ask. As a consumer, you can fight against inhumane practices by supporting reputable and humane farms and processors.
Despite the difficulty of sourcing domestic rabbits, an emerging disease threatens rabbit populations across the United States. This virus is called Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease or RHDV2 and has proven to be highly contagious to both wild and domestic rabbits. The U.S. Department of Agriculture states,
“It can be spread through direct contact or exposure to an infected rabbit’s excretions or blood. The virus can also survive and spread from carcasses, food, water, and any contaminated materials. People can spread the virus indirectly by carrying it on their clothing and shoes.”
RHDV2 has shown to persist in the environment which makes it difficult to control. We can all do our part to help stop or slow down the spread of the disease. Biosecurity practices can be adopted such as thoroughly washing hands and changing into different shoes and clothes indoors or when you are around your rabbits. Reporting cases to your local state wildlife officials is also helpful to track the spread of the disease. Suspicious cases include groups of rabbits that have dropped dead or display blood around the nose.
We hope to raise awareness on rabbit sourcing. As previously stated, Top Quality Dog Food only sources domestic raised rabbits. When you support us, you support humane practices! The RHDV2 virus presents another challenge for sourcing rabbit. We hope you will stay informed on the topic, support research and vaccines, and if nothing else spread awareness. You can stay updated on the topic by joining the RHDV information page on Facebook.
Thank you to George Long for inspiring this blog and sharing information on this very important topic.
USDA Fact Sheet: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/publications/animal_health/fs-rhdv2.pdf
California Department of Fish and Wildlife: https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=179037&inline
New Food Magazine: https://www.newfoodmagazine.com/news/85045/global-rabbit-meat-market-grow/