Market and society driven innovations in the Dutch rabbit production system

K.H. de Greef, J.M. Rommers, Sjef Lavrijsen

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paper

Abstract

As a result of the changing social position of animals in the western society, Dutch commercial rabbit farming operates under societal pressure regarding animal welfare. During the last two decades, the rabbit sector in the Netherlands has strategically chosen to focus on changing its housing systems for animal welfare improvement to better meet societal demands and – when possible - exploit associated added value markets simultaneously. The result is that, currently, all does are housed in ‘welfare cages’, the majority of meat rabbits is housed in parcs (welfare improved large collective pens) and antibiotics use is more than halved. Preparations have started to introduce group housing of does in commercial practice. The description of the cases Development of welfare cages, Parc housing and Group housing of does illustrate that increasingly, innovations are a combination between meeting societal demands (preventing legislative interventions) and exploiting added value markets. The change of the sector as a whole contrasts with other animal production sectors that generally form niche initiatives alongside the existing world market oriented. The proactive and farmer driven nature of the innovations also differs from developments elsewhere.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event11th world rabbit congress - Qingdao, China
Duration: 15 Jun 201618 Jun 2016

Conference

Conference11th world rabbit congress
CountryChina
CityQingdao
Period15/06/1618/06/16

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