Rabbits deserve a space large enough to stretch out and do natural behaviours like hopping.
1.1.2 The space allowances in this section, even after the phase-out, are still too small for a rabbit to exhibit natural behaviours. Increase the space permitted per rabbit and decrease the amount of time it takes to phase in better cages.
Rabbits need to hide and have more enriching lives.
1.2 Platforms should be a requirement, not a recommendation, due to their health and welfare benefits (e.g., improved bone quality, greater range of natural behaviours expressed).
Rabbits should be provided with at least two refinements, as many of the ones listed are easy to use in combination to improve welfare. Specify that at least one refinement should be one rabbits can eat/gnaw on, such as wood sticks, hay, grass, or hay cubes, as these were found by the Scientific Report to decrease repetitive behaviours (as well as contribute to good dental condition).
Recommended practices A, B, C, D, E, F and G should all be requirements. That way, acceptable refinements are clearly defined in the requirements (to prevent, for instance, a producer using a refinement not mentioned in the list that is ineffective at providing enrichment).
Rabbits need protection from foot injuries.
1.3 For the first requirement, specify which flooring type minimizes injuries. The Scientific Report found that plastic-coated wire or provision of a plastic resting mat decreased injuries. Also, recommended practice B should be a requirement. Plastic resting mats were found by the Scientific Report to prevent foot injuries.
Rabbits should have a clean space that keeps them healthy.
1.3 Recommended practices C and D should be requirements, as they help to reduce disease transmission. According to the Scientific Report, rabbits have a preference for clean bedding.
3.1 Recommended practices C and D should be requirements. These are standard animal care practices in other animal sectors.
3.1.2 Recommended practices A, B, C, D, E and F should all be requirements to prevent the development of the bacteria S. aureus, which significantly reduces rabbit welfare.