I explored options this week for a possible grant to either construct a processing area on farm or a mobile processing center, but, unfortunately, the potential cost to do such a thing is more than the grant was worth and we do not have the money available to make up the difference. That puts me back on square one as far as the rabbits are concerned.
When Wally and I got into rabbits, it was legal to process them on farm. The USDA governed it; then in 2012, it was given to the FDA and the FDA wants rabbits processed in inspected facility. Our closest inspected facility is in Marion, about 50 miles from here. I refuse to haul my rabbits 50 miles to be killed and processed by someone else. My hands are on these rabbits from the day they are born (literally!) until the day they die and I am not going to change those practices because of the FDA.
So, I’ve tried to sell some of my breeding stock, but no one wants them. Unfortunately, that means that some of my good breeding does are going to become sausage. I do not need to tell you how silly it would be for us to continue to breed rabbits for meat if we cannot sell them. Wally, the dogs and cats and I can only eat so many rabbit — well, the dogs and cats would eat it every day if they could, but we cannot afford to raise rabbits the way we do to feed them.
Then again, if (and that’s a big “if”) I can get our vegetable production off the ground that will enable us to feed our rabbits almost free (except for our labor) so maybe in time I can breed back up.
Until then, thanks FDA for your regulations. You ought to pay more attention to the factory farms that are producing meat and vegetables that do kill people, not small farmers that pay close attention to quality.
Until later …