Rabbits were yanked out of cages by their sensitive ears and pinned under workers’ feet while being violently sheared.
Rabbits who had been plucked bare lay motionless in their cages.
At one site, a rope used for suspending “problem animals” by their forelimbs, in order to be plucked or shorn, dangled from the ceiling.
The temperature was over 100 degrees with 80 percent humidity, and the rabbits were given little to no protection from the elements.
Most of the rabbits were suffering from severe skin irritation caused by excessive salivation. The saliva ran down their necks and onto their chests and forelimbs. As a result, these areas of skin had become severely infected. Many animals exhibited rapid, open-mouthed breathing brought on by heat stress or respiratory disease.
Many animals’ heads were tilted at a 90-degree angle. This condition is caused by damage to the ears, likely from being roughly handled every 30 to 60 days when yanked out of their cages for shearing. Because of the head tilt, they were unable to orient themselves to eat or drink and slowly died of starvation or dehydration.
Veterinary care was grossly inadequate or non-existent. In many cases, the rabbits were offered no treatment for severe and chronic infections, sores, respiratory distress, malnutrition, blindness, or neurological damage.