Flat Earth: Rabbiting on and on

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The Independent Online
The "International Observatory on Rabbit Breeding in Mediterranean Countries" is the latest strategy announced by the UN. Its august Food and Agriculture Organisation announced last week that it is to mobilise its huge resources in the Mediterranean. The details were announced by the UN's deadpan spokesman Fred Eckhard. "Don't laugh now, this is about rabbits," he said.

A network will be set up to support rabbit breeding in Mediterranean countries as a way of adding to the food supply, generating income and diversifying livestock. According to the UN, rabbits produce highly nutritious low fat meat and could eventually emerge as a low cost answer to rural poverty in the developing world. With their ability to produce up to 40 offspring a year, the UN says rabbits are a very efficient and ancient delicacy.

Most people believe there's little you can teach rabbits about breeding, but the UN obviously thinks differently. The first meeting will be held in over two days in Rome next week and will be attended by delegates from 14 countries and groups like the Italian Rabbit-Breeding Society. What the UN hasn't yet made clear is why they think rabbit reproduction may be in need of international assistance.