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peterinfrance

Do You remember rabbits

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There were, as most people know, meat shortages during WW2 and in the late 1940's and early 50's.  However I seem to remember there were plenty of rabbits

hanging up in the butchers shops. Where did they all come from?

We had rabbits to eat frequently and to this day I can smell them cooking and I cannot eat rabbit!

What are your recollections of eating rabbits?

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Yes, I remember them well and, as far as I know, they were not rationed.

Then,  of course, there was that dreadful disease that killed most of the wild rabbits. At least, here in the USA, one can buy farmed rabbits but not as good as the old wild rabbits.

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There was a shop on London Rd were they hung in the window and their heads were covered by a brown paper and the blood would drip on the counter,quess what I'm having for tea 

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I had a lovely white rabbit called Snowy as pet until my dad got hungry...........Worst part was thinking the rabbit was lost and I ate some too. Think I was in my teens when I found out. 

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They had rabbits hanging up in the meat and fish market of Castle Market in the 60's and 70's. Still with fur on! 

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When I was very young (late 1950's - early 60's) my father had an allotment in the Farm grounds off Granville Road, there were lots of rabbits living in the railway embankment and the fields within the grounds. Dad used to set wire snares and catch them, rabbit stew was a regular meal in our house.

 

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Early 1970's I worked for one of the Boldocks, a well known Sheffield family in the wet fish & poultry business, so  obviously we sold rabbits.
You would think that a rabbit was just a rabbit, which it is, but we sold two sorts of rabbits, the fresh unskinned that was seen hanging in or outside the shop, you would ask for it to be cleaned  and portioned, part of could be bought or the whole animal.
The other rabbit was a bit less known to customers and the public,  they came frozen and boxed from China, they came skinned and cleaned with an intact body, except for one thing, the frozen imports came with no head.


The imports were often the clean rabbit portions seen for sale on the sellers slab, so no head, no fresh rabbit.
No idea if this still applies today.
 

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During WW2 we had a couple of holidays in Derbyshire at Calver Sough, one particular memory was when a cereal crop field was being harvested. The cutting started and went in decreasing circles whilst guns at strategic points waited for rabbits being driven out into the open. At this point you will no doubt remember that Flanagan and Allen song "Run rabbit, run rabbit, run,run,run"! which started "On the farm every Friday,on the farm it's rabbit pie day". We certainly ate our share of rabbit in those days, chickens were far too valuable to be slaughtered other than at Christmastime.

I also remember the sight of the affect Myxomatosis had on rabbits around 1953/54 whilst on National Service,it no doubt put many people off for a long time and hugely reduced the trade, hence the Chinese option referred to in SteveHB's post above.

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