The rabbit meat production sector faces the challenge to become more sustainable. This is a multidimensional and complex challenge and to tackle it one should address concerns on a range of issues, such as animal welfare and health, social acceptation and environmental impact. In 2010, an analysis of the Dutch rabbit sector was performed as part of a re-design trajectory following the reflexive interactive design approach. The aim of this system analysis was to reveal the sector’s sustainability challenge. This was a dual aim: 1) regarding content, the analysis should lead to a notion of the structural impediments for change and the route forward to overcome these; and 2) regarding process, it should lead to stakeholders’ active involvement, social learning and commitment towards the results. This is necessary since research cannot realise change, but stakeholders from the value chain can. We found that the practice of housing rabbits in cages is the main obstacle to reach sustainability. Cages are considered unsustainable with regards to animal welfare and social acceptation. Cages structure the system of rabbit husbandry and as such hinder change. Besides this, we distinguished five focal points for the route towards sustainability. With regards to process, interactivity and social learning has been accomplished.
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