Big bucks paid for big bunnies
By RACHEL AFFLICK
KYOGLE man Allan Clarke describes the demand for rabbit meat in Australia as 'unbelievable', and as the general manager of Australia's largest commercial rabbit farm he is hardly complaining.
Border Range Fresh Farm Rabbits is located at Green Pigeon, near Kyogle.
Allan said since this time last year the farm had more than doubled its size from 1000 to 2500 rabbits.
Ironically, their biggest problem is breeding enough rabbits to meet the demand for them.
"The thing is our rabbits don't breed like rabbits," Allan said.
"We have a licence to sell to Asia, but by the time we sell to the domestic market there's nothing left over."
The farm currently processes 1200 rabbits each week, mainly to be sold as meat to restaurants, butchers and delis.
Their abattoir is one of the few licensed in Australia for the processing of rabbit meat.
Allan said the Border Range team had been very busy in the past year developing a long-life rabbit product which would be a first of its kind in Australia.
"We haven't been able to find this particular product in Europe yet either, but there's been a huge response to it," Allan said.
They are also planning to install a methane power generator that will use rabbit pooh to provide power for the farm. Allan, who is a former avocado grower, said the North Coast had 'perfect weather' for breeding rabbits, with very few disease problems."Rabbit meat is the highest meat in protein and the lowest in cholesterol, which is a big plus these days when there's more concern about diet," Allan said.
"It's a beautiful white meat and can be used in any recipe."
Border Range Fresh Farm Rabbits now has a website. Check it out at: www.borderrangerabbit.com.au