Booming bunny business

A Bletchley-based butcher was caught on the hop after placing an ad in the local paper asking for people to supply him with dead wild rabbits. Now, he says, he cannot keep up with demand. Malcolm Driver, from DP

Clarke butcher's in Queensway, near Milton Keynes, said he is only interested in taking wild rabbits from those licensed to shoot them.

Since placing the unusual ad in the 'Citizen' paper, which read 'Wild rabbits required', Malcolm says he has received much media attention, which led to a marked increase in supplies.

"I have sold 80 extra rabbits since Friday last week and they all went during Saturday and Sunday morning," Malcolm said.

At the time of writing, Malcolm added he was due to receive another couple of 100 rabbits. "I've always sold wild rabbit. I can sell 500 a week and, in the last six to seven months, I have got busier with them," he said.

He has attributed the increased interest in wild rabbit to a growing multi-cultural society and changes in what consumers want to eat. "People are realising that rabbit meat is low-fat, tender, very tasty and a cheap option. I certainly remember my mum baking rabbit pies and they tasted superb," he said.

Malcolm sells three ready-skinned rabbits for £5 and will pay his suppliers £1.50 each for them. "They are mainly from farmers or from people who manage golf courses or who have shot rabbits on their own land," he said. "I don't touch roadkill and I certainly would never contemplate tame rabbits."

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