§ Colonel Carver
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he will give details of the scheme which his Department has drawn up whereby owners of rabbits can form a club and obtain a ration of seven pounds of bran a quarter for each breeding doe?484W
A scheme for the encouragement of tame rabbit keeping on a domestic scale has been devised in consultation with my right hon. Friends the Secretary of "State for Scotland and the Minister of Food, and with the Domestic Poultry Keepers' Council, with the object of utilising waste materials for the production of meat. Domestic rabbit keepers are defined as persons keeping not more than four breeding does for the production of flesh or flesh and fur, and the scheme will be operated through the medium of organised rabbit clubs. Rabbit keepers will be required to utilise the maximum quantities of waste greenstuffs from the garden and the allotment, the field and the hedgerow, and of household scraps. A supplementary allowance of bran will be provided for breeding does only at the rate of 7 lbs. per doe per quarter. No rationed feeding-stuffs will be available for bucks or young fattening rabbits. Pet rabbits will, of course, be excluded from the scheme. In consideration of the supply of rationed feeding-stuffs for the breeding does, members of clubs participating in the scheme will be required to dispose of a prescribed proportion of the rabbit meat they produce to the common pool through the medium of a buyer selected by the club and approved by the appropriate Agricultural Department. Having regard to the importance of waste green-stuffs for feeding the rabbits, the chief scope for domestic rabbit clubs will be in rural and semi-rural areas. Urban clubs will not be accepted unless there is satisfactory evidence that members have access to sufficient quantitites of greenstuffs to provide, with the allowance of bran for the breeding does, for their animals' full needs. The supervision and development of the scheme is being undertaken in England and Wales by the Domestic Poultry Keepers' Council, and in Scotland by the Scottish Gardens and Allotments Committee.