Eindrapportage PPS Duurzame konijnenhouderij 2016-2020

de Greef, K.H.; Rommers, J.M.


This report describes the innovation programme “Duurzame konijnenhouderij” [Sustainable rabbit farming] that ran from 2016-2020. The program is an initiative of the farmers group of LTO (the major Dutch farmers organization), supported by the innovation and valorization fund “Topsector Agri & Food”. The objective of the programme was to improve rabbit welfare and health and reduce the use of antibiotics in intensive/commercial rabbit production. Housing conditions were improved by developing a system for housing of rabbit does (with their young) part time in groups and optimization of the housing of meat rabbits to park housing. The combination of these two housing systems was accredited with one star of the “Beter Leven Kenmerk” [an animal welfare hall mark] of the Dierenbescherming, the major Dutch animal protection organization. Gastrointestinal health issues were addressed as they were an obstacle for the acceptance of park housing of meat rabbits. Nowadays over 70% of the meat rabbits is kept in parks. The program not only comprised regular applied research and supporting scientific studies, but also an interactive component was introduced. This approach is being continued in a subsequent PPS, which focusses on the care of young rabbits.