This sub-page is dedicated to the priority area 4. Rabbits on farm, with a focus on alternative housing systems.


The following deliverable combines a list of welfare indicators and methods of assessment relative to on-farm rabbits’ welfare. As no specific European legislation is yet available, the legal requirements of the directive 98/58/EC that apply to rabbits are identified and allocated to four welfare principles: Good Feeding, Good Housing, Good Health and Appropriate Behaviour. Welfare indicators and their methods of assessment are developed following a review of the existing scientific literature, and the checklist and guidelines used by official inspectors in Member States. Among the different welfare indicators, the animal-based Indicators (ABI) are prioritized but Resource-Based (RBI) and Management-Based indicators (MBI) are also provided. These indicators and methods of assessment are evaluated according to their validity, feasibility and reliability in order to deliver to Competent Authorities useful information for official controls.