The decision to lift the ban was declared in April.
KOZHIKODE: The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has lifted the ban on rabbit meat ending the confusion of consumers and farmers over the consumption of rabbit meat and rearing of rabbits. The official consent on the rearing of rabbit has also led National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) to introduce subsidised loan (25 percent) of Rs 1 lakh for new rabbit farmers as well as the existing ones.
A circular issued by the FSSAI suggests the inclusion of rabbit family, leporidae, as meat, under the species of animal in sub regulation 2.5.1 (a) of the Food Safety and Standards (Food products standards and food additives) Regulations, 2011. In 2014, the FSSAI had urged the state government to strengthen the vigil and ensure compliance of the order which restricts the slaughter of dog, cat, rabbit and camel anywhere in the state. According to Dr Migdad Mullathayil, a rabbit farmer from Malappuram district, the official consent is helpful to the farmers who had to stop the farms due to the FSSAI order earlier.
Though the decision to lift the ban was declared in April, the people were not aware of it and were scared of consuming rabbit meat. “I have been into rabbit farming since 2005 and there was no looking back till the ban on rabbit meat in 2014,” he added. Earlier, the FSSAI had only included ovines (sheep family), caprines (goat family), suillines (pig family), bovines (cattle family, including buffalo and bison) and poultry and fish for human consumption, but the new proposed draft of FSSAI includes leporids in the list.