Rescuers saved dozens of giants rabbits which were bred to be eaten and stuffed into filthy huts.

RSPCA officers collected 47 heads of animals from the allotment in the village Northumberlandwhere they were kept in “cramped and dirty” conditions.

Flemish giant rabbits were locked up and left to breed.

The largest weighed more than 8 kg (17.6 lb), the same as a medium-sized dog such as a Jack Russell Terrier or King Charles Spaniel, and had 7-inch ears.

The RSPCA believes they were intended for dinner plates.

Although Flemish Giant Rabbits are often kept as pets, some still breed them for their fur and meat.

The two adults were medium-sized, but their litters were crossed with some of the giant breeds, so the babies are likely to grow up to be larger than normal rabbits, the animal charity said.

Inspector Trevor Walker, who helped with the rescue for several days in Ashington, said: “These poor rabbits were living in cramped and dirty conditions which would have been very uncomfortable for them, especially in the heat.

“Fortunately, the vet found them all to be in good condition. One is taking medicine for the watery eyes and neck wound, but we hope they will find loving homes.

“They will make good companion animals because they have a good temperament.”

Some rabbits were the size of dogs


The RSPCA said no action had been taken against the owner and most of the rabbits had been taken to its centers or branches, while others were being cared for by inspectors.

Killing animals to eat at home is not illegal, but government guidelines warn that people can be prosecuted unless they kill animals for them or their immediate family living on the property to eat.

Many centers are already full of unwanted rabbits, the report said, even before the summer surge in requests to relocate the animals.

“Unfortunately, rabbits are becoming an increasing problem at the RSPCA as we see more and more coming into our care, many due to the cost of living crisis,” Mr Walker added.

“We really encourage people to do their research before adopting a pet and make sure you have your pet spayed to prevent unwanted litters.”

last year The Independent revealed how T&S rabbit farm left animals sick due to neglect.

The firm sells meat and fur products from the rabbits and is believed to send the carcasses to a larval farm for bait fishing.

The Shut Down T&S Rabbits organization opposes the firm’s expansion plans.

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