Rabbit farming is quickly becoming popular among people, with hundreds of commercial farms springing up across the country in addition to other domestic animals, which had not been considered in Bangladesh even in a few years back. Concerned related with this sector said it could be a potential source to produce meat at low cost and an excellent alternative income source to rural poor people or to who unemployed yet, as rabbit meat-rich high-level protein and requires a small investment to set up a farm initially.
Bangladesh Post recently contacted at least ten rabbit farms owners in several districts and learned that, although hundreds of farms have already been established across the country, but none of them have received farm registration or any official approval from the country's Department of Livestock Services (DLS).
Contacted Zeenat Sultana, Deputy Director of Department of Livestock Services (DLS) told Bangladesh Post that they are aware of the issues, and have plans to bring all the rabbit farms under the registration system which cannot be implemented yet following some complications.
“I had started rabbit farming around 3 to 4 years back inspired by a leaflet that was distributed by the local livestock office stating that it could be a good source of alternative income as well as the best source of protein”, Toha Ahmed, owners of Tashfin’s Pet House, a rabbit farm located Rajshahi’s Mirer Chawlk area told Bangladesh Post.
He said in the initial phase, he along with his two other friends started their farm with some domestic rabbits from local species alone, with taka 50 thousand investments. Later, their farm grew up day by day and now earns an average taka 5 lakhs in a year.
However, Ahmed now raising several types of domestic fancy rabbits besides ordinary species, claiming that it is too difficult to make profit by only raising ordinary rabbits in farms, as the practice of eating rabbit meat in the country has yet to begin due to a lack of awareness, campaign.
Arafat Uzzaman Khan, owner of another rabbit farm named ‘Super Bunns’ located Chittagong's Muradpur area, said he started his farm with local species of domestic rabbit, but he is now raising fancy rabbit as well, claimed it is multiple times more lucrative than ordinary species and highly demandable in the local market.
They both claimed, however, that the country's Department of Livestock Services (DLS) authorities had not yet granted them farm registration or any other official approval, which causes them to face a variety of complications to importing rabbits from abroad and obtaining a loan; additionally, they do not receive any facilities or advice from the livestock department as well.
Sultana said they have plans in this regard and hope to begin the registration process for rabbit farms soon, adding that it obviously could be a potential sector as there is the opportunity to produce meat at a low cost while also providing a good source of alternative income to unemployed or rural poor people, and it can also play an important role to meeting the country's nutrition demand.