Information for Falconers

Falconers can help prevent the spread of RHDV2 by taking general prevention efforts described on our WHAT CAN YOU DO page.

Below are specific actions that falconers can take to further reduce the risk of spreading RHDV2:

  • Notify your state wildlife agency if you notice a decline in rabbit populations in your area.
  • Wear disposable gloves when handling rabbit and hare carcasses.
  • Always clean and sanitize hunting clothes, equipment (e.g., cadges, giant hoods), and surfaces after hunting rabbits and hares.
  • Avoid transporting rabbits to train falconry birds or introducing domestic rabbits to natural environments.
  • Consider cleaning/sanitizing birds’ talons that may have been in contact with rabbits or contaminated materials.

When handling rabbit and hare carcasses:

  • Minimize contact between raptors and rabbit carcasses.
  • Process carcasses on surfaces that can be sterilized.
  • Process carcasses on surfaces that can be sanitized or discarded (e.g., plastic sheet or bag) in the landfill.
    • Hard surfaces can be disinfected with a solution of 10% bleach or 10% sodium hydroxide mixed with water.
  • Cook rabbit meat to at least 165°F.
  • If field-dressing rabbits and hares, store inedible parts in a non-porous plastic bag.
  • Dispose of this bag in your household garbage if it is hauled to a landfill via regular trash collection.
  • Alternatively, animal remains may be burned/incinerated or buried deep enough to prevent scavengers from digging them up.

You can find a printable document containing this information
under the DOCUMENTS provided on our RESOURCES page.

For additional information, please see what specific actions other groups can take: