Add Your Voice Against Planning Appeal for Buckinghamshire Rabbit Farm

⚠Please act now⚠️

As predicted, T&S have lodged an appeal against the refusal of a new intensive rabbit farm in Buckinghamshire. Their plan is to exploit 250 female rabbits to produce upwards of 10,000 rabbits per year for the meat and fur industry.

The appeal can be viewed here:

To send your representation online, click “Make Representation” in the top right of the page and follow the prompts on screen.

Alternatively you can send your representation directly to the Planning Inspectorate Case Officer via the following methods:

Telephone: 0303 444 5575
Or send three copies via post to:
Claire Vicary
The Planning Inspectorate
Temple Quay House
2 The Square

Please note that all representations must quote the appeal reference APP/X0415/W/21/3285706 and must be received by the Planning Inspectorate by the 28th February 2022.

All of the original points to object still stand, and we have included a few more which have become more relevant since the original application. Please feel free to use these to help you form your objection in order to make sure that your objection is considered. Remember that unfortunately, moral objections do not hold weight in planning objections, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t voice your moral concerns alongside any “valid planning considerations.” Ask for welfare to be made a material consideration during review of planning permission applications involving animals, particularly as there is NO species-specific legislation protecting the welfare of rabbits in the UK.

– The proposed location is on Green Belt land, and the National Planning Policy Framework (NFFP) states that development on Green Belt land is harmful and inappropriate. Areas are given green belt status in order to retain areas of undeveloped, wild land to keep a buffer between developed towns and countryside. The area is also considered an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and an unsightly rabbit farm would detract from this, rather than enhance it. The adopted Local Plan states “The natural beauty of much of the District’s countryside is of great importance to the quality of the life enjoyed by residents and visitors and so must be protected.”

– The proposed location is near a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Hodgemoor Wood. The drainage report states that due to the natural topography of the site, all runoff discharges to the south east – which is the direction in which the SSSI is located. There is nothing within the application to address how the applicants intend to stop waste run-off from the large amount of waste that the rabbits shall create on the land from polluting the SSSI. The drainage report focuses on diverting human waste from the on-site dwelling, and not the waste that the farmed rabbits will release into the environment.

– The site is located just across the road from current houses and a public house. Farming rabbits on such an intensive scale will undoubtedly produce a great amount of waste and therefore foul odours. Waste disposal vehicles will be required to attend to dispose of rabbit carcasses, creating further disruption and foul odours. There is no mention as to how the existing residents will be protected from this. Not only will the noise and smell be an inconvenience for the surrounding residents, it will also surely devalue their properties.

– The A355 is already a very busy road and the junction to Magpie Lane which the site will be situated off is noted as a dangerous junction. A further increase in traffic to this area will exacerbate this problem.

– The previous application by T&S for a Rabbit farm was denied, one reason being that an ecological appraisal was not conducted. This has now been completed and issued with the latest application, but the appraisal is dated 11th February 2019, making it two years old. A great amount could have changed in those two years, protected species could have moved onto the land, protected plants could be growing there, and more – thus it is safe to argue that this report no longer reflects the current state of the land and is no longer fit for purpose.

– There is no mention of how the rabbits shall be slaughtered. There are currently no slaughterhouses in the UK licensed to slaughter rabbits. If the plan is for to be slaughtered on site, there is nothing in the proposal outlining how waste from this process shall be disposed of, ie. blood and offal, nor how it will be ensured that none of this waste will contaminate the surrounding area.

– If slaughtered on-site, the rabbit meat will only be allowed by law to be sold within Buckinghamshire and the adjoining counties (or no further than 50 kilometres from Buckinghamshire’s border. If more than 10,000 are killed a year it will contravene government regulations – so this needs close monitoring.

– There’s also the question whether ‘agricultural use’ can really stretch to include slaughtering.

– The production cap of 10,000 rabbits per year, for ‘small-scale suppliers’ means the applicant is exempt from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) rules for monitoring and reporting. Without FSA oversight with the presence of an Official Vet (OV) and CCTV monitoring in all areas where animals are present, there would be no day-to-day oversight of animal welfare, meat hygiene, food safety or safe waste disposal.

– There is no demand for rabbit meat in the UK, most people are repulsed at the thought of consuming it. As rabbit farming is something which is highly frowned upon in current public attitudes, the farm would attract protests and unwanted attention, disrupting local life.

– There are no measures outlined on how they intend to combat the spread of disease in the rabbits. There are no specific drugs licensed for use in rabbits in the UK, due in large to the lack of commercial rabbit farming here. There is also no mention of vaccinating the rabbits against the fatal, incurable diseases Myxomatosis, VHD and VHD2. Myxomatosis has been noted to be rife in the local wild rabbit population by the immediate neighbours of the site. There have also been documented outbreaks of VHD2 on Mr. Kerry’s other farms.

– Animal neglect has been witnessed and documented multiple times on T&S’s existing farms, available to view online via Animal Aid, Rabbit Farm Resistance UK and articles in newspapers ie. The Independent.

– There has been huge public outcry regarding recent proposals for rabbit farms – tens of thousands have sent objections, signed petitions and attended demonstrations against them.

– There is no species-specific legislation in place to guarantee even minimum enforceable welfare standards for rabbits.

– There is a question of whether these farms are an attempt at fur farming ‘through the back door’ – the T&S website mainly advertises highly priced fur products which appear to generate the vast majority of their income. A recent yougov poll revealed that the vast majority (93%) of people in Britain don’t wear real animal fur and support a Fur Free Britain.

You can send an objection whether you objected to the original application or not, so please join in and take a few minutes out of your day to put a few words together if you are able.

For the rabbits, thank you!