T&S Nurseries, a rabbit farm in East Bridgford, Nottinghamshire, England, which has been the target of animal rights activists for breeding and killing rabbits for meat and fur, has been closed down. Phil Kerry, who runs T&S Nurseries, announced his retirement in August 2022 and the closure of his farms. Even though fur farming has been banned in the UK since 2002, farms like this were making a profit from selling the rabbits’ skins under the guise that their fur is a “by-product” of killing them for their flesh. Many animal protection groups, including Shut Down T&S Rabbits, Animal Aid, VIVA! and PETA have been campaigning on this issue. Thousands of people, including writer and director Ricky Gervais, also signed a petition against T&S Nurseries, which runs a network of rabbit farms.
Mr Kerry said to the Newark Advertiser, “I was retiring next year anyway from rabbit farming but I have to be honest, the activists made the decision for me. It was also the sheer cost of security. I made the decision to give into their demands. We couldn’t fight them anymore because they are too strong.” Kerry also revealed the decision to cease trading was made, in part, because local councils repeatedly blocked his applications for new butchering and breeding sites.
After the good news, volunteers from the Shut Down T&S Rabbits campaign have now collected 202 rabbits from the farm. They are now finding forever homes for them. Fundraising to support the costs of the rabbits’ veterinary care has now reached more than £16,000. A spokesperson from the group said, “The farm closed down because the public had had enough… There is no way we could have allowed it to carry on. The campaign was multi-faceted and used a diversity of tactics, and being grassroots organised meant no leaders were calling the shots, so lots of people felt empowered to take action.”