HORRIFYING footage of the appalling conditions in rabbit farms throughout Spain has been revealed by an animal rights charity.
Igualdad Animal (IA) campaigners went undercover to investigate 70 farms including many in Andalucia and four slaughterhouses.
Their footage shows rabbits having their throats slit while conscious and dead animals left lying for days in cages beside live ones.
The film shows injured and sick animals being left untreated and others eating their own faeces.
Farmers were also observed killing sick animals by hitting them over the head with iron bars, smashing their skulls against concrete floors or punching them.
It has been revealed that top British restaurants have been using rabbits obtained from these same farms, including the National Theatre in London.
Spanish actor and animal rights campaigner Pablo Puyol appears in the hard-hitting video, which also exposes scenes of cannibalism and aggression due to stress and overcrowding.
“The public has a right to know what is happening in these places, something which the industry wants to hide,” said IA founder Javier Moreno.
The organisation has lodged 72 official complaints against the treatment of animals, which if proven could result in fines of up to €1.2million and year-long prison sentences.
However, Intercun – Spain’s rabbit farming industry association – has criticised the report, claiming it is far from a ‘rigorous study that can reflect the industry as a whole.”
Its director told Spanish newspaper El Pais that the industry is in the process of creating a new code of practice which goes ‘beyond what is required by law’.