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Development and testing of an animal and environmentally friendly innovative housing for fattening and breeding rabbits under practical conditions

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Niedersächsisches Ministerium für Ernährung, Landwirtschaft und Verbraucherschutz

Federal State

Lower Saxony and Bremen


Calenberger Straße 2
30169 Hannover

Website: External link to the authority

Project Title

Development and testing of an animal and environmentally friendly innovative housing for fattening and breeding rabbits under practical conditions

Project description

The aim of this project is to develop an innovative housing system for conventionally kept fattening rabbits, which includes the implementation of all requirements of the 5th amendment of the Tierschutz-Nutztierhaltungsverordnung (TierSchNutztV) for commercial husbandry of fattening rabbits in Germany. A housing system will be created, which improves animal welfare and also reduces the outgoing environmental pollution. Within this project the housing system will be planned, a prototype will be constructed and afterwards installed on a farm. Subsequently, the new system will be tested under practical conditions, investigated scientifically and further developed. Thus, an animal-friendly system will be created that allows rabbits to carry out their natural behaviours, helps to maintain a good health status with minimal use of medication and keeps the outgoing emissions at a low level. The results of this project should serve as a basis for future housing systems for rabbits.

Results focusing on practiceorientation

The new housing system for rabbits positively affected the animals‘ behaviour due to

increased space and environmental enrichment compared to conventional cages. Less injuries and higher daily weight gain of fattening rabbits were also detected compared to conventional cages on the same farm. The rabbit does being in the new housing system only during the rearing phase, showed more injuries and illness in the new housing system than in the cage system. There was also a negative impact on hygiene. During the first six batches, the housing system and the rabbits were extremely dirty caused by the used flooring design.

Nevertheless, data on barn climate and emissions showed that the limit values for harmful gases specified in the German Animal Welfare Regulation (TierSchNutztV) were not exceeded. By installing a new floor, cleanliness of the system was improved. ... (see final report)

Key words

Animal husbandry

Main funding source

Rural development 2014-2020 for Operational Groups (in the sense of Art 56 of Reg.1305/2013)

OG contact information

Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover, Institut für Tierhygiene,
Bischofsholer Damm 15 (Gebäude 116)
30173 Hannover

Phone: 0511/8568954

Email: michaela.fels@tiho-hannover.de

Type of OG partners

  • Farmer
  • Farmer
  • Farmer

Begin of project


Project status


Total budget applied for in EUR


Further information

Weitere Informationen finden Sie im Praxisblatt.

Link 1

Practice Sheet



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