Dog Training and Field Trial Participants

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

Below are specific actions that dog training and field trial participants can take to further reduce the risk of spreading RHDV2:

  • Immediately report sick or dead rabbits to your state wildlife agency. Do not handle the animal unless directed otherwise. If possible, mark the location with flagging or another object, or record the GPS coordinates.
  • Do not run, train, or hunt with dogs in areas known to be impacted by RHDV2.
  • Avoid transporting rabbits to train hunting dogs, including to fenced running pens.
  • Avoid introducing rabbits to any natural environment.
  • Disinfect your shoes before entering and leaving training grounds.
  • Always clean and sanitize hunting clothes, equipment (e.g., dog transport cages), and surfaces after hunting rabbits and hares.

When handling rabbit and hare carcasses:

  • Dogs can transmit the virus, so minimize contact between dogs and rabbit carcasses.
  • Do not store rabbit carcasses in dog transport areas.
  • Process carcasses on surface that can be sanitized or discarded (e.g., plastic sheet or bag) in a 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: