La cuniculture Nord Américaine II - Le Mexique


  • M. Colin Ralston Purina Europe Inc.



The situation of the Mexican rabbit production is paradoxal : its importance is quantitatively limited however many actions are carried out to stimulate it's development, especially through a "family package" program, which aims at improving the nutrition of the local population.

Mexican rabbit production has 2 very different components : the large and intermediary segment with few rabbit farms for which the size varies between 300 and 3.000 does/farm ; the rural segment representing the overwhelming part of rabbit production which is made up of many little back yard farms oriented towards in-house consumption. Many of these are located inside cities.

Mexican rabbit production is mainly located in the Centre of the country, close to Mexico City and in the highlands area. These farms have a productivity from 12 to 24 rabbits/doe/year for the rural type farms, and from 30 to 35 rabbits/doe/year for the intermediary size and from 35 to 40 rabbits/doe/year for the large units.

The recent epidemy of Viral Haemorrhagic Disease has strongly changed the structure and the importance of mexican rabbit production. The infection agent was widespread trough the whole country and the epidemy reached 11 among the 31 states of the country. Sorne exceptional measures have been carried out to control the expansion of the disease and make it's eradication possible.
The rabbits produced in rural farms are generally used for in-house consumption however it's importance is decreasing : as a matter of fact, in 1992, 60 % of the produced rabbit meat was commercialised. Of this production a large part was sold to restaurants. Rabbit meat consumption has been developed through specific actions of advertising and commercialisation. Estimations of Mexican Rabbit production varies from one author to another. As matter of fact, the majority of these estimations appear to be low. Our own estimation is 15.000 tons/year for the rural production, 1.500 tons for the intermediary and 1.000 tons for the large farms.


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