HC Deb 09 July 1942 vol 381 cc959-60W
Colonel Carver

asked the Minister of Agriculture to what extent he is encouraging the keeping of tame rabbits as an article of food; and what is the latest official estimate of such animals?

Mr. Hudson

The production of tame rabbits is being encouraged, particularly on a domestic scale through the medium of domestic rabbit clubs formed under the aegis of the Domestic Poultry Keepers' Council, to whom the development of domestic rabbit-keeping has been entrusted. Tame rabbits must be fed mainly upon surplus greenstuff from hedgerows, gardens and allotments. Only a small allowance of bran is allowed for breeding does. This form of meat production is, therefore, generally more suitable for persons in rural than in urban areas. On 30th June there were 198,000 breeding does eligible for rations kept by commercial rabbit producers and 116,000 does kept by members of domestic rabbit clubs. I have no information of the total number of rabbits kept by these two classes of producers, but each doe produces on the average about 12 young rabbits a year.