An Official Website of the Commonwealth of Kentucky
Rabbit hemorrhagic disease (RHDV2) is a fatal disease in rabbits. It is classified as a foreign animal disease in the United States and is reportable to the
U.S. Department of Agriculture. For the first time in the U.S., this disease has been detected in wild rabbits. It has been detected in several states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah) across the Southwest.
USDA APHIS link to current map:
How can we help prevent it in Kentucky?
The potential introduction of this virus to Kentucky through the movement of animals for commercial and recreational activities is a serious concern.
Because of the risk of widespread rabbit mortality from RHDV2, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife is pursuing emergency regulations to ban the importation of any wild rabbit species alive or dead (i.e., carcass) into Kentucky. KDFWR does not regulate domestic rabbit species.
We are asking for your help to reduce the risk of introduction and protect Kentucky’s native species by refraining from any rabbit importation in the state and reporting any suspicious rabbit deaths to Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. A listing of
private lands biologists is available on the department’s website. Type “private lands biologists” in the search box. The public should not attempt to pick up rabbit carcasses due to the potential for transmission of other zoonotic diseases (those posing health risks to humans), such as Tularemia.
Please see the definition of suspicious rabbit mortality (below) before reporting any mortalities to local biologists.
Defining Suspicious Rabbit Mortalities