This shocking video shows how white rabbits are kept caged on an icy ground in freezing temperatures at an Austrian farm.
The poor bunnies are not even able to snuggle up together for warmth, as they are separated by another partition within the tiny cage on the snow-covered ground.
The animals were filmed by an outraged passerby at a farm in the municipality of Taiskirchen im Innkreis in the Austrian state of Upper Austria, and the Verein gegen Tierfabriken (VGT – Association against Animal Factories) has filed a complaint of animal abuse after being alerted.
VGT said the situation is completely heartless and violates the Animal Welfare Act.
The animal rights group said the rabbits are being kept on the icy ground in sub-zero temperatures without any protection from the elements and with nowhere for them to burrow to keep safe and warm.
The Animal Welfare Act states that animals need to be kept in clean, dry conditions, and wind and weather protection is also mandatory.
The rabbits are also kept without the possibility to withdraw to a dark area and are constantly exposed to the cold, according to VGT, which also claimed that the cage is too small and fails to meet legal requirements.
VGT legal expert Alexander Kirchmauer said: “It is sad how people are able to deal with sentient beings. It’s a wonder the rabbits haven’t frozen to death. If a courageous person had not contacted VGT, we would never have found out about this case, the animals might have frozen to death.”
A VGT spokesperson identified only by her first name, Sofija, told Newsflash in an interview on 2nd December: “The video was filmed on 26th November. The rabbits disappeared shortly after, right before the authorities could intervene.
“The additional photo of the sheep was taken yesterday. No water, no food, no dry barn.
“Today there will be freezing temperatures in Upper Austria again, snow is going to fall.”
Sofija added: “This little village has an infamous reputation. Two years ago, a neighbour of the farmer keeping the rabbits and the farmer keeping the sheep abused a cat and it lost a leg.
“Unfortunately, we don’t know if the rabbits were kept for food or as pets. Either way, they have been neglected. Even with warm weather, this cage would still be illegal.
“Currently, VGT is running a campaign against full slatted-floor systems in the pig industry, but of course we operate on many levels and take action when animals are exposed to violence and cruelty.”
Sofija added: “Some of our greatest successes were the prohibition of battery farms in Austria, prohibition of fur farms (the first worldwide), prohibition of wild animals in circuses, and animal protection amended in the Austria constitution, among many others.
“Regarding this case, we informed the authorities various times and we hope that they will take action now. They have known about this case for several months, residents inform us that they have not taken any action. A sheep reportedly died in the summer because they had no water or shade to protect themselves from the sun.
“With the temperatures dropping, we hope the authorities will take action, as sheep can’t eat frozen grass under a blanket of snow. They need to have dry food, which they haven’t been provided so far, and water of course.
“This is another case of animal cruelty, sadly with the authorities informed but apparently inactive so far.”
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Story By: Sofija Dizdarevik, Sub-Editor: William McGee , Agency: Newsflash
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