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KEEPING RABBITS FOR MEAT by Ruth Tudor and James Swift from Trealy Farm. Together they run The Meat Course alongside producing award winning artisan charcuterie. One of their courses is Rabbit in a Day of which you will experience an insight at this workshop, recalling a time when most families kept animals to provide nourishment. Transforming plant matter humans cannot eat into nutritious foods.
The first part of this presentation will connect you directly with issues of farming for meat and – if this is your interest – will give you a good start for raising your own meat rabbits. Ruth will introduce basic farm animal husbandry and how to achieve this with limited space in a backyard or smallholding. The talk will explain humane slaughter and the emotional issues connected with it.
In the second half of the presentation, James will discuss skinning and gutting your rabbit. He will cover the preparation of rabbit and pork products such as pate, rillettes or confit and will discuss the differences between wild and farmed rabbits, for those interested in hunting wild rabbits. There will be opportunity for tasting of some of the dishes discussed.
This course would suit those who want to connect very directly with what it takes to raise rabbits, slaughter and dress a carcase. It would also suit those who might want to raise their own meat rabbits and / or those who wish to gain practical skills in all aspects of raising and preparing farmed or wild rabbits for the table.
In the talk, the Human Slaughter Society is recommended as a source of guidance for those wishing to raise and slaughter their own animals. Whilst not oriented to raising rabbits for meat, the Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund are the go to organisation for anybody seeking to raise rabbits for meat or as pets. Note, rabbits are classified as “exotic” and therefore, as with birds should not be treated by standard vets without qualifications to deal with exotic animals. Standard veterinary practice will offer to treat them but will not tend to advise when specialist exotic veterinary services are required. With Myxomatosis and RHV1 & 2 being intentionally released as a biocide, vaccination is often recommended, note that the new Nobivac vaccine is adjuvant free, with half as much volume, unlike the older vaccines that contain aluminium adjuvant and that should be avoided.