Idaho is a state full of people who love the outdoors. It is in our DNA to hike, hunt, fish, and do anything outdoors. When most of us are outdoors, whether hiking a remote trail or the greenbelt, it's not uncommon to see wild animals such as deer, ducks, crazy geese, squires, and other animals. However, if you see this animal, a dead rabbit, do not touch it, according to officials from USDA.

The government organization has issued a bulletin warning Americans that Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease has been detected in our country. Is that an actual disease? Has it been detected in Idaho? Who would know the answers to these questions outside of the USDA?  Do we have an expert or an organization within the Gem State? The answer is yes.

What Is Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease?

The Idaho Department of Agriculture has an entire page dedicated to this disease. The define it as is a highly contagious and fatal foreign animal disease found in rabbits. The disease has historically been found in Southwest Ada County.

What should I do if I have a rabbit die or find wild rabbit carcasses?
If you are concerned about an animal you own which has died, contact your veterinarian right away. If you have found/seen wild rabbits which have died, notify the Idaho Department of Fish and Game Wildlife Health Lab at (208) 939-9171.

Click this link here for more information.

More Guidelines From The USDA To Keep You Safe

• Do not allow pet or wild rabbits to have contact with your rabbits or gain entry to the facility or home.

• Do not allow visitors in rabbitries or let them handle pet rabbits without protective clothing (including coveralls, shoe covers, hair covering, and gloves).

• Always wash hands with warm soapy water before entering your rabbit area, after removing protective clothing and before leaving the rabbit area.

• Do not introduce new rabbits from unknown or untrusted sources. Do not add rabbits to your rabbitry from animal shelters or other types of rescue operations.

• If you bring outside rabbits into your facility or home, keep them separated from your existing rabbits for at least 30 days. Use separate equipment for newly acquired or sick rabbits to avoid spreading disease.

• Sanitize all equipment and cages moved on or off premises before they are returned to the rabbitry. We recommend disinfecting with 10% bleach or 10% sodium hydroxide mixed with water.

• Establish a working relationship with a veterinarian to review biosecurity practices for identification and closure of possible gaps.

If you have a question that is not covered here, please visit the USDA Risk Identification information on RHD or contact Animal Industries by email or phone at (208) 332-8540.

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