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Lucy
29-08-2007, 09:28 AM
After some recent chat on here about breeding I thought it would be good to establish what are generally accepted breeding practices for rabbits for those of us who don't know.

As an example, in the standard poodle club, the code of ethics states among other things that...
To ensure that both sire and dam are of a suitable temperament and type; currently have SA normal reports, are in sound health and construction; and seek to establish a mode of inheritance of diseases (testing wherever possible under the existing schemes) to preserve, safeguard and improve the characteristics of the breed.
To ensure both parents are registered with the Kennel Club.
To breed only with consideration for the breed's welfare and not for commercial remuneration.
To keep puppies in the precinct of their home environment, or securely protected until the age of eight weeks, or fully inoculated.
To ensure all purchasers of puppies are fully aware of the characteristics of the Standard Poodle: paying speciel attention to grooming, clipping, cost, exercise and feeding and to never leave it on its own all day.
To provide each purchaser with a diet sheet, worming certificate and pedigree and official welfare leaflet available from the club. (Making use of the Kennel Club endorsement scheme where appropriate)
To be responsible for all dogs/puppies bred by them, taking them back if necessary and contacting the breed rescue when help in re-housing Is required.
Never to mate or breed from a ***** under the age of two years, or over eight years of age. Bitches to be limited to four litters in their breeding lifespan, with a rest of at least one season between matings.
Not to breed a litter unless care and attention can be assured for the *****'s welfare at all times, with proper facilities for health and security for both ***** and puppies.[A person with a full time occupation is not in a suitable position to breed).
Not to knowingly sell a Standard Poodle to a commercial dealer; nor to knowingly export dogs to Japan or the Far East; and not to any country that does not have legislation for the protection of animals from cruelty similar to such laws as the UK, and who do not have a reciprocal agreement with the English Kennel Club.

Now I think this is a great code of ethics to have. There are more rules about stud dogs etc, but I think you get the idea. I assume each rabbit breeding club would have similar codes to ensure the welfare of the rabbits? What are the generally accepted good practices for rabbit breeding? (And yes, before you say it, i know rabbits will breed differently to dogs, but there must be a set of good practices for rabbits too).

Tamsin
29-08-2007, 09:47 AM
The BRC has various codes of practice: http://www.thebrc.org/codes.htm

Lucy
29-08-2007, 10:05 AM
Unless I've missed it there is nothing on there about the ethical breeding in terms of how often to breed and what sort of a break between litters a doe should have etc.
There seems to be a lot on there about housing, transporting etc, but not the actual health and well being of the rabbits used for breeding. For example, you wouldn't be breaking any codes of practice there if you bred from a female every available time all her life. Thats not acceptable to me, but it's not breaking any rules is it?

Raven Rexs
29-08-2007, 10:12 AM
not only is it unfair on the doe but you are trying to breed good quality offspring which if your breeding all the time your not going to get. i breed mine only when they are ova 9mths old and only at the max of 2 times a year depending on the does health and the bucks health i always surgest this to ppl who i sell to that want to get in to the breeding and showing of rabbits:D

WalnutEarth626
29-08-2007, 10:21 AM
Unfortunately we don't have as detailed codes of practice as that, ie we don't stipulate how many litters a rabbit should have. Thats down to the disgression of the breeder, and you hope that the breeders will responsible, and I'll be the first to admit that not all of them are.

Personally I won't mate any of my does up before they are a minimum of 8 months old, and won't use them any older than 3 1/2 years old (I lost a doe that I bred older than this to a prolapse so have never done it since :cry: ) Ideally I won't breed from them once they turn 3years old. My does will have a MAX of 2 litters a year and never one after the other, ideally they only have 1. So most of my does will only have 3 litters total. They say that the 'quality' of a litter decreases with each litter a doe has, ie her first litter will be her best and they get slightly lower quality after that. Therefore there really is no point in overbreeding and I can't understand why people do it.

There are some breeders that seem to treat their rabbits like machines, and that really makes me cross. I just want to reassure you we are not all like that, the majority of breeders really care about their rabbits and treat them well. Its only natural that in a rescue scenario you are going to meet the bad breeders, because the good ones are doing it right to start with.

Lucy
29-08-2007, 10:22 AM
I would have thought that would be a major point to have stated in a code of ethics?
It is very detailed on things such as housing and transport. I would have thought that the breeding of the doe was a more important ethical point than both of those (although the others are needed).

WalnutEarth626
29-08-2007, 10:25 AM
I would have thought that would be a major point to have stated in a code of ethics?

I agree, but unfortunately it would be fairly pointless if you can't enforce it. Ie with the KC all puppies have to registered with pedigrees, so you can see how often a ***** has been used and when her last litter was. There is no registration for rabbits, so no way for the BRC to monitor how often a certain rabbit has been bred from.

I agree there should be some kind of code of practice in place, and its something I would welcome. But until someone comes up with a way of enforcing it there is little point.

Raven Rexs
29-08-2007, 10:29 AM
well you cant really tell how many litters a doe has had by glance but u can with dogs the saggy breasts r a dead give away also dogs can only get pregnant 2 times a year where as rabbits can be all year round so theres no way you can pass a code a keep it in check really is there?

rabshan
29-08-2007, 10:44 AM
One of the breeders that i get rabbits from breeds her does twice a year:) giving them time after they have raised their young to recover from the ordeal of giving birth etc.:cry:
They are "retired" at 2 yrs.old & either come to me or to another rescuer to be rehomed:)
I think this is a good format for breeding (if you must breed)
I am not anti-breeder as i have had some good advice & help from knowledgeable breeders:) These are "specialist" ones who concentrate on one or two breeds:)

ZakuraRabbit
29-08-2007, 10:53 AM
I have no idea if such rules exist in Norway, yet I highly doubt it.
I've heard of several "breeders" who breeds rabbits for pet shops and sells their kits when they're 3-5 weeks old.:cry:
However the serious and good breeders only breed each doe 2, sometimes 3 times a year (if she's healthy enough to raise a 3. Usually it's only 2) A rabbit doe should be breed at least once a year if she is to continue breeding. The babies are taken from mom at 8 weeks, or the mom is taken away at 6 weeks, leaving the kits in the same cage till they are ready to go into new homes.
We won't breed aggressive rabbits, or rabbits with a dental problem (or if the parents/siblings have a dental problem, as this is a recessive trait)
Each litter should have a "plan" not just breed for the sake of breeding. Wether they are purebreed show bunnies or not.

I plan on starting to breed next year.
Both bunnies are purebreed and have very nice tempers. Aroma hasn't been shown yet but is to be shown in September, Sasuke had 93.5 on his last show:D
I breed for sable rexes, but since Sasuke is black, I'll probably get some blacks in the litter too (his father's a blue sable), possibly blue or blue sable if Aroma carries blue:D

Lucy
29-08-2007, 10:59 AM
But shouldn't there be a recommendation to guide people as to what is best practice? They can't monitor peoples accomodation or how they transport and animal but that is on their codes!

abbymarysmokey
29-08-2007, 11:10 AM
The BRC seems to view rabbits as livestock, and offers little or no welfare guidance.

You'd think the BRC would be concerned about breeders over-breeding and dispatching their unwanted rabbits with a blow to the back of the head (or even more cruel methods) wouldn't you?....Apparently not :evil: :censored:

As I've said in the past, the BRC views rabbits like the racing industry views greyhounds...expendable commodities to be discarded once their usefulness has expired.

Lucy
29-08-2007, 11:13 AM
So from what the people who have bred are saying, is that there is an unwritten code on conduct for breeding but not anything that would be recommended by the BRC.

Thats sad really. At least having a section about breeding could put people in the right direction.

Jack's-Jane
29-08-2007, 11:24 AM
So from what the people who have bred are saying, is that there is an unwritten code on conduct for breeding but not anything that would be recommended by the BRC.

Thats sad really. At least having a section about breeding could put people in the right direction.

From the contact I have had with a couple of 'goodish' Rabbit Breeders most of the Breeding world is self regulated. There is nothing to stop a back-yard breeder being a member of the BRC ( and so to the less well informed *appear* to be reputable).
I know of at least two cases where BRC Breeders have Rabbits kept in the most appaling conditions, one Breeder even having a previous 5 year ban from the RSPCA. In their Free Ads they claim they are 'BRC Registered' which, as stated, some people may see as a sign of a good indication of the standard of care the Rabbit's receive and the health of any Rabbit obtained from them.
The two *good* Breeders I know feel very disheartened that the BRC do not have stricter rules to cover the conduct of their members. For example the BRC are not supposed to approve of members selling stock to the Pet Shop trade.

Sadly as usual an organisation that is *meant* to care about the welfare of Rabbits does little to enforce anything. Until Rabbits are given more status in general nothing will change

:cry:

Janex

abbymarysmokey
29-08-2007, 11:27 AM
Sadly as usual an organisation that is *meant* to care about the welfare of Rabbits does little to enforce anything. Until Rabbits are given more status in general nothing will change


Very true :cry:

Lucy
29-08-2007, 02:13 PM
Yes I agree Jane. Sadly I guess it's up to the individual to make the right choice when buying. The problem is instead of walking away from bad breeders people feel sorry for the animal and buy it and fuel their trade, creating a need for them to carry on breeding.

ZakuraRabbit
29-08-2007, 03:57 PM
Anyone can be a member of the norwegian rabbit assosiation as well, but if you want to give your rabbits a rabbitry-name the rabbitry needs to be registered and approved by the rabbit jumping club, otherwise a rabbit is not allowed to compete with the rabbitry-name.
As far as I remember the rules there say not to breed one doe more than 2 or 3 times a year:) Not that any breeder I know would do that anyway:lol:

Beebop
29-08-2007, 04:42 PM
They are "retired" at 2 yrs.old & either come to me or to another rescuer to be rehomed:)


I disagree with that, the rabbits clearly are not much loved pets, and therefore are gotten rid off when they are of no more use. I could NEVER give up an animal, ever, my bond with them is far too great, unless there was a genuine reason I couldn't provide proper care!

rabshan
29-08-2007, 04:45 PM
Anyone can become a member of the BRC:) I was a member for a year (about 5 years ago:) ) NO checks were made before i joined:shock: so basically it mens NOTHING:shock: it only means that you can show rabbits in affiliated shows (I think):shock:
Raising the status of rabbits from children,s pet to that of companion animal would IMO improve how the world views rabbits:)

ZakuraRabbit
29-08-2007, 04:50 PM
I disagree with that, the rabbits clearly are not much loved pets, and therefore are gotten rid off when they are of no more use. I could NEVER give up an animal, ever, my bond with them is far too great, unless there was a genuine reason I couldn't provide proper care!

Well most breeders can't afford/has room for keeping a whole bunch of rabbits that can't be used in breeding.
The most loved ones may well get to stay, but if not, it's better to rehome them than to put them down at least.

Beebop
29-08-2007, 05:07 PM
Well most breeders can't afford/has room for keeping a whole bunch of rabbits that can't be used in breeding.
The most loved ones may well get to stay, but if not, it's better to rehome them than to put them down at least.

If they don't have room, then prehaps they should reconsider breeding, imagine if every breeder, including dog and cat breeders just rehomed animals no longer used in breeding. :? Theres no need to breed 10 different colours or breeds, so they shouldn't have more than a few active does and a couple of bucks.

WalnutEarth626
29-08-2007, 05:22 PM
If they don't have room, then prehaps they should reconsider breeding, imagine if every breeder, including dog and cat breeders just rehomed animals no longer used in breeding. :? Theres no need to breed 10 different colours or breeds, so they shouldn't have more than a few active does and a couple of bucks.

Agreed! Its about quality, not quantity - too many people forget that. I have a max of 12 Adult hutches and another spare block thats used for running on youngsters when they come away from Mum. Thats it, and I hate having all my hutches full! Mind you I'll be honest and say I have 2 Adults looking for homes - but they are both ones they're previous owners didn't want anymore so I took them back, so its not me trying to rehome older breeding stock.

elve
29-08-2007, 05:28 PM
I was struck today by a thought about breeding :rolleyes: Why didn't I realise it before? :shock: My exquisite, show quality, rare alpaca guinea pigs are what 'good' breeding is all about :shock: When I rescued them the breeder giving up had put a lot of work into finding good stock, travelling all over to shows to find them - and she wanted her work to go to good use furthering the breed. I pretended I might consider it :D She was GUTTED when I said (after taking delivery and locking the door) that I'd changed my mind and wouldn't be breeding from her precious collection after all :?

Today I picked up my favourite little piggy, Abbie (see my sig) and gazed in wonder at her beauty, as I always do, and marvelled at her amazing temperament, as I always do, and thought how sad I will be when she's gone, as there will never be another like her in rescue.

Would I breed more of these incredibly gorgeous, well natured guinea pigs? Well strangely the thought wouldn't even occur to me :shock: Abbie has no idea she is gorgeous or irreplaceable. She also has no choice over anything in her life, including whether or not she is forced to have babies. She relies on me to make a caring decision on her behalf. How selfish would I have to be to force her to have a baby just so I could have another cream alpaca? Breeding, even if it's about 'furthering the breed standard' is all about human selfishness - human desires - using helpless animals to get what we want.

How can that be morally defensible for any reason? If they were about to go extinct would it effect the ecosystem? Fancy breeds don't have any effect on the environment as they are artificially produced by breeders. If they die out it doesn't matter except to those selfish few who 'can't live without' a cream alpaca guinea pig. Animals aren't accessories to a lifestyle! I just don't get the breeding thing in any way, shape or form where it concerns pets! I will agree the white rhino becoming extinct is a disaster - but a particular coat colour/ear type/ whatever for a fancy breed of pet? How does that matter?

Beebop
29-08-2007, 05:33 PM
Couldn't have worded that better myself Elve, 100% agree!:D

Raven Rexs
29-08-2007, 05:39 PM
well then y do u have any of your rabbits they have all come from the domestication of wild rabbits. lop, dutch the lot all come from them. so perhaps you should not get anymore and just admire the ones in the wild after all its also not natural for them to live in hutches or indoors. its just for us ppl who are selfish and would like a rabbit to keep them company.

Beebop
29-08-2007, 05:43 PM
I HATE the whole concept of pet keeping, and would happily see an end to animals being kept as pets, but when I can offer a good home to a rescue bun or whatever animal, I would take it, as rescuing an animal does NOT support the creation of more. I think many would agree with me on here.

Lucy
29-08-2007, 05:58 PM
I didn't start this thread so people could start bickering over the rights and wrongs of breeding, you can start another thread for that. I was simply trying to establish what the generally accepted good breeding practice is. From this thread I see that it is breeding from a doe from about 8-9 months, making her have 2 litters a year until shes about 3 then usually rehoming her. Is that correct?

Doncat5
29-08-2007, 05:59 PM
I was struck today by a thought about breeding :rolleyes: Why didn't I realise it before? :shock: My exquisite, show quality, rare alpaca guinea pigs are what 'good' breeding is all about :shock: When I rescued them the breeder giving up had put a lot of work into finding good stock, travelling all over to shows to find them - and she wanted her work to go to good use furthering the breed. I pretended I might consider it :D She was GUTTED when I said (after taking delivery and locking the door) that I'd changed my mind and wouldn't be breeding from her precious collection after all :?

Today I picked up my favourite little piggy, Abbie (see my sig) and gazed in wonder at her beauty, as I always do, and marvelled at her amazing temperament, as I always do, and thought how sad I will be when she's gone, as there will never be another like her in rescue.

Would I breed more of these incredibly gorgeous, well natured guinea pigs? Well strangely the thought wouldn't even occur to me :shock: Abbie has no idea she is gorgeous or irreplaceable. She also has no choice over anything in her life, including whether or not she is forced to have babies. She relies on me to make a caring decision on her behalf. How selfish would I have to be to force her to have a baby just so I could have another cream alpaca? Breeding, even if it's about 'furthering the breed standard' is all about human selfishness - human desires - using helpless animals to get what we want.

How can that be morally defensible for any reason? If they were about to go extinct would it effect the ecosystem? Fancy breeds don't have any effect on the environment as they are artificially produced by breeders. If they die out it doesn't matter except to those selfish few who 'can't live without' a cream alpaca guinea pig. Animals aren't accessories to a lifestyle! I just don't get the breeding thing in any way, shape or form where it concerns pets! I will agree the white rhino becoming extinct is a disaster - but a particular coat colour/ear type/ whatever for a fancy breed of pet? How does that matter?


I completely agree, well said!!:D :thumb:

kiri_tc
29-08-2007, 06:48 PM
/snip From this thread I see that it is breeding from a doe from about 8-9 months, making her have 2 litters a year until shes about 3 then usually rehoming her. Is that correct?

A good breeder will not rehome their doe just because she has gone above the age of breeding. I will never rehome my girl. She will spend her whole life with me.

My own personal codes of ethics:

my doe (s) will be bred once they/she has gone over 9months of age. She will have one litter per year.
All adults and babies will be vaccinated according to our vets advice.
Babies will be vaccinated before leaving me around the age of 10 - 12 weeks.
All new owners will be vet checked and homechecked by myself. If i am not satisfied that they will go to good knowledgeable homes they will stay with me.
Each new owner must sign a contract to state that should anything happen where they cannot keep their rabbit, it must be returned to me and not rehomed.
Each new owner will be given a fully comprehensive care sheet, including advice on neutering and vaccinating, a months supply of food and a generation history.
No rabbit will be sold to any person wishing it to be a child's pet.
Once my doe comes of 3 years old she will be neutered and kept here with me for the rest of her life.

No doe will be bred from if she is not of sound temprament and in full health, which will be confirmed by my vet prior to breeding.

Lucy
29-08-2007, 07:30 PM
:wave: Now thats the type of ethics I like to see. If all rabbit breeders did that we wouldn't have too many rabbits and there would be far less trouble with badly bred stock and rabbits going to innappropriate homes. Well done you.

Raven Rexs
29-08-2007, 07:33 PM
I didn't start this thread so people could start bickering over the rights and wrongs of breeding, you can start another thread for that. I was simply trying to establish what the generally accepted good breeding practice is. From this thread I see that it is breeding from a doe from about 8-9 months, making her have 2 litters a year until shes about 3 then usually rehoming her. Is that correct?

dont think i could rehome any off my adult i love them too much:D

Lucy
29-08-2007, 07:41 PM
But saying that, I don't really understand how you could leave their babies to the fate of a pet shop :? I wouldn't have thought most ethical breeders like kiri_tc would sell theirs to a pet shop? I can't get my head round that bit.

Jack's-Jane
29-08-2007, 07:45 PM
A good breeder will not rehome their doe just because she has gone above the age of breeding. I will never rehome my girl. She will spend her whole life with me.

My own personal codes of ethics:

my doe (s) will be bred once they/she has gone over 9months of age. She will have one litter per year.
All adults and babies will be vaccinated according to our vets advice.
Babies will be vaccinated before leaving me around the age of 10 - 12 weeks.
All new owners will be vet checked and homechecked by myself. If i am not satisfied that they will go to good knowledgeable homes they will stay with me.
Each new owner must sign a contract to state that should anything happen where they cannot keep their rabbit, it must be returned to me and not rehomed.
Each new owner will be given a fully comprehensive care sheet, including advice on neutering and vaccinating, a months supply of food and a generation history.
No rabbit will be sold to any person wishing it to be a child's pet.
Once my doe comes of 3 years old she will be neutered and kept here with me for the rest of her life.

No doe will be bred from if she is not of sound temprament and in full health, which will be confirmed by my vet prior to breeding.

I wish ALL breeders were like you

Janex

elve
29-08-2007, 07:48 PM
My 13yr old son and I discussed this over dinner just now. His opinion was that breeders must have no imagination. I guess that's why people who do have imagination can't imagine giving away the babies to any home, never mind a retail outlet. When you have imagination you imagine all the things that could go wrong in the next 10yrs of that animal's life, so you don't even go there.

And FYI Raven, I don't agree with pet keeping, and didn't choose my rescue rabbits for looks (apart from my nethie) but because they were hard to home for various reasons, and I wanted to be part of the solution to the rabbit welfare issue, not part of the problem :?

Thea & Bobbin
29-08-2007, 07:50 PM
My 13yr old son and I discussed this over dinner just now. His opinion was that breeders must have no imagination. I guess that's why people who do have imagination can't imagine giving away the babies to any home, never mind a retail outlet. When you have imagination you imagine all the things that could go wrong in the next 10yrs of that animal's life, so you don't even go there.

And FYI Raven, I don't agree with pet keeping, and didn't choose my rescue rabbits for looks (apart from my nethie) but because they were hard to home for various reasons, and I wanted to be part of the solution to the rabbit welfare issue, not part of the problem :?

You have a very intelligent and sensitive 13 year old son! Well done you, you should be very proud! :D

chloaster
29-08-2007, 07:51 PM
Raising the status of rabbits from children,s pet to that of companion animal would IMO improve how the world views rabbits:)

Interesting how vets have done this and subsequently raised their consultation prices but the rest of the world hasn't followed suit :?