Rabbits are raised for a variety of reasons, and are found in virtually every country. Production of rabbits for meat has long been important in western European countries such as France, Italy, and Spain. Rabbits have traditionally been raised by small farmers in these countries to provide meat for the family and supplementary income. In some countries, including Great Britain, Germany, and the United States, raising rabbits for exhibition and showing is a significant activity. Large competitions are held with animals exhibited and judged according to standards set by rabbit breeder associations. Rabbits are extensively used in biomedical research as laboratory animals. The Rex breed has a unique type of fur, with short guard hairs and erect underfur. Highquality coats, gloves, hats, and other garments can be manufactured from Rex pelts. The Angora rabbit produces wool that is used in the manufacture of luxury garments and in handicraft work. Many rabbits are simply raised as pets. Thus there are a variety of purposes for which rabbits are raised, which may influence their nutritional needs and the types of diets required. Not surprisingly, the nutritional requirements for optimal efficiency in raising rapidly growing meat rabbits, Rex rabbits for fur, Angoras for wool, laboratory rabbits kept under maintenance conditions, pet rabbits, and fancy rabbits for exhibition purposes may be quite different.