The Idaho Department of Fish and Game has announced that a disease to wild jackrabbits has been found in Idaho. The disease known as Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease has been found in two wild jackrabbits southwest of the Boise airport.

According to the news release from Idaho Department of Fish and Game, this is the first time it has ever been found in Idaho. It is important to note that Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease (RHD) has no known effects to humans, livestock or other pets.

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RHD is highly contagious and often deadly to rabbits and it is spread through direct contact with an infected animal, carcass, contaminated food and water or any other material that may come in contact with an infected rabbit.

The hardest part about eradication is that the disease can be transmitted through insects like flies, fleas and mosquitos as well. If you own rabbits you should take enhanced measured to prevent the disease from spreading. They suggest keeping rabbits indoors in areas where RHD has been detected and wash your hands with warm soapy water before and after handling any rabbit. If you go into a rabbitry it is also important to wear protective clothing

According to the news release there is no real signs that a rabbit is sick except for sudden death. In rare cases a rabbit that is infected will have loss of appetite, bloody nose and dullness.

They also encourage anyone that sees a rabbit carcass to not touch it or move it and report it online or call Idaho Fish and Game Wildlife Health Laboratory.

·        Report it online at https://idfg.idaho.gov/conservation/wildlife-health/add,

·        Call Fish and Game’s Wildlife Health Laboratory at (208) 939-9171, or

·        Contact a regional Fish and Game office at https://idfg.idaho.gov/offices.

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