NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – New Mexico Department of Game and Fish officials say a disease is to blame for recent wild rabbit deaths. The department began testing carcasses after receiving a high number of reports of dead rabbits in southern and eastern New Mexico last month.
Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus type 2 (RHDV-2) is not related to COVID-19 and it’s not known to be transmitted to people or pets but it is easily spread to other rabbits. Game and Fish say you and your pets should avoid rabbit and rodent carcasses, keep domestic rabbits in isolation and do not handle found rabbit and rodent carcasses.
If you find dead wild rabbits or to report large numbers of dead wild rabbits call your local Conservation Officer or the Department Information Center at 888-248-686.
Game and Fish advise hunters to handle rabbits with caution and wear gloves when field dressing and wash hands well afterward. They also say meat from healthy rabbits killed or caught by hunters is safe to consume when cooked thoroughly and properly.