Wild rabbits were kept in special hunting enclosures, leporaria, by the Romans as early as 2,000 years ago. However, rabbits were not properly domesticated until the Middle Ages.
In Sweden, rabbits have been kept as domestic animals since the 16th century and were bred for their meat and fur. In the 18th century, long-haired rabbits were imported and their wool was used to spin yarn and make clothes.
In the mid-20th century, rabbits were either kept only as pets or bred on an industrial scale for their meat and fur.