Keen to take the marketing advantage within the current climate of concern over meat injected with growth promotants and hormones, the Rochester Gourmet Rabbit Marketing Group has stepped up its production. President Des Fiedler revealed that the group has finally managed to sublease slaughter facilities from The All Poultry Factory in Bendigo.

The group had to relocate after its Nathalia plant was closed last March, but negotiations for the new facility were held up by the need to conform to regulations. "I suppose we thought it would have been quicker but there's been a lot of hassles," said Fiedler.

Hormones and growth promotants cannot be used in the production of rabbit meat, as "it becomes an uneconomical rabbit" after about the age of 13 weeks, when "they are eating more than they can put back into body weight."

The Bendigo slaughterhouse kills rabbits every second Wednesday, and pigeons on three days a week.