Rabbit processor seeks permission for Derbyshire factory

By Jerome Smail contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Meat & Seafood, factory design & Maintenance

T&S Rabbits has submitted plans to Derbyshire Dales District Council to build a food production plant in the village of Hognaston, near Carsington Water.

The documents, submitted by Willis & Co on behalf of T&S owner Phil Kerry, also include plans for a dwelling for rural workers.

The Design and Access Statement says the location is screened from view by trees and hedgerows, with the existing rabbit farm on the site having demonstrated it is financially viable.

Food preparation

“In order to continue to grow the business, the applicant requires an additional building for cooking and food preparation,”​ the document said.

The site would enable workers to ‘process and prepare the rabbits’ including whole rabbits, jointed and diced rabbit meat, and other products such as pies and pates, it added.

The plans for production include a worker living permanently on the site ‘to stop/eliminate predation and prove appropriate care for the does at kidding’.

A floor plan within the application said the processing plant would have a cooking and food preparation area for the meat, along with an ‘intake and skinning area’.

The factory would also include dedicated fridge and freezer areas for storage before rabbits are removed from the site.

Objections

Some animal rights campaigners and local residents have objected to the application. A petition on Change.org calling for Derbyshire Dales District Council to reject the application has, at time of writing, over 8,000 signatures.

However, T&S Rabbits has insisted the new building will produce no smell or noise once operational, and that the proposal will give rise to very few traffic movements. It added that the farm has existed on the land for years with no complaints.

Established in 2010, T&S Rabbits’ regular client base includes restaurants, catering establishments and specialist food retailers.

Free-range

According the company, the rabbits are reared on a free-range basis and principally fed on a diet of grass, hay and herbs.

The firm has several sites at locations across the UK, including Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Leicestershire, as well as Derbyshire.

Rabbits bred on its farms include New Zealand white, silver fox and Californian.

Related topics: Meat, poultry & seafood, Operations

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