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The animal rights group Igualdad Animal (“Animal Equality”) has revealed details of their December rescue of 31 rabbits from a farm in central Spain.
Eight activists took part in the raid, jumping over a fence and gaining access to the farm, which was also raising pigs. The activists — Sun, Edgar, Ivan Yahira Jose, Esther, Sharon and Eu — put the rabbits into large plastic containers and drove the liberated animals to a rural location not frequented by humans. There the activists had prepared three burrows with a large network of tunnels, which Igualdad Animal says the rabbits took to right away, “feeling for the first time the fresh grass of their new and safe surroundings.”
Active in Spain, Peru and Venezuela, Igualdad Animal has carried out a number of open rescues in recent years, including six baby pigs in August 2007, four minks from a fur farm in July 2008 and 10 hens from an egg farm in December 2008.
A statement released by the organization reads: “We want to dedicate this new open rescue to all the non-human animals that we could not rescue this year and who have been victims of human habits and prejudices. They are the reason that leads us to work every day with greater dedication…. We also want to dedicate this new open rescue to all those who strive every day to help other animals without expecting anything but the satisfaction of knowing they have helped others who needed them.”
According to Igualdad Animal spokesperson Sharon Núñez, the organization “believes that all sentient beings deserve equal consideration, this meaning that all animals’ interests should be considered equally no matter an individual’s gender, age, species, degree of intelligence, etc.”
Igualdad Animal has pledged to rescue at least one animal a day in 2009, calling open rescues “an inextricable part of our identity.” In that spirit, the group has adopted a new slogan that reflects better that work for non-human animals: “Educate, Investigate & Liberate. They are, in our view, three types of activism closely interrelated and complementary: Education as a way of freeing animals through the change of social consciousness. Investigating as a way of helping society discover the reality of animal exploitation. And finally, Liberating, which is to implement our wishes and words to help those individuals who are enslaved and suffering at the moment.”
Although I would have preferred to see these newly liberated rabbits placed in permanent homes with human guardians, at least they’re better off now than they were. With no experience in the wild, they will have to learn to survive on their own — foraging for food, dealing with inclement weather, coping with predators and insects, etc. — but they certainly face a brighter future than they did at the farm, where they were destined for a terrifying death and someone’s dinner plate.
To view some excellent photos of the rescue, click here.