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Rabbits & Myxomatosis

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A cage trapped rabbit, garden near Bath.I have had several rabbit jobs recently where the rabbits had been causing havoc in client's gardens eating newly sprouting plants and excavating holes in carefully tended lawns. I've had quite good results with cage traps set in the feeding areas and Fenn Mk6 traps set in the burrows. This happy state of affairs, for me at least, is soon going to end locally as I've seen several dead & dying rabbits while I've been out with the dog in the last week or so. Indeed only this morning the dog pounced glee fully on an infected rabbit, proudly retrieved it and then looked at me in disbelief as I threw it on top of the hedge for the buzzards, after having put it out of it's misery.
 And a miserable, pitiful end it surely is, rabbits with myxomatosis suffer from swellings to the connective tissue around the eyelids, nose and genital regions. Their eyes often swell up so much that they can't see in the later stages of the disease and they lose their way from the burrows allowing them to fall prey to any passing predator.
 Myxomatosis first reared its ugly head in Britain in 1953 after a French doctorcarried out experiments on his estate in France andinfected rabbits escaped. There were initial attempts to stamp the disease out but it soon spread countrywide on its own and with artificial help from landowners releasing infected rabbits (a practice which was made an offence in 1954). The initial outbreak in the 50's killed an estimated 99% of several hundred million rabbits within two years and changed the face of the British countryside forever.
 
Rabbits with myxomatosis suffer swellings around the eyes
 The virus seems to come around every 2 or 3 years and depending on its strength or the rabbit population at the time, it has varying impacts on rabbit numbers, sometimes almost total wipe out, other times the rabbits recovering quite quickly.... and rabbits being rabbits, they are soon back up to good numbers. The disease is spread in Britain by the fleas which infest the rabbits and their burrows, passing the virus from rabbit to rabbit in the close confines of the warren. From infection it takes fully susceptible rabbits 11 to 18 days to die from the most virulent strain, however some rabbits always seem to survive an outbreak and these can pass immunity on to
Dead rabbits litter the countryside during a myxomatosis outbreak.
their young.... I hope there are a few that make it through this time & the numbers are soon back up to the levels where they need control ( if not some ferrets might be facing redundancy).
 

47 Comments to Rabbits & Myxomatosis:

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bottle on 19 May 2017 07:11
bottle
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Colin Control on 17 March 2018 00:30
Poor little bunnies!


essaybest on 22 May 2017 16:30
The rabbits and myxomatosis causing havoc quite good results with connective tissue around the eyelids. Great info andinfected years and changed the face of the british rabbits always seem to survive,keep it up.
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online essay writing service review on 19 June 2018 04:37
Rabbits are so adorable but it's true that they can be quite troublesome especially when left out near crops and fields. I think the best way to deal with this issue is to build a fence that is safe from bunny attacks. Or maybe you can catch them so and make them your pets, another thing that you can do is to simply give them to organizations that can better take care of them. The last thing that you should do is to kill them because that’s a very cruel thing to do.


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Thank you for informing or alerting us about this kind of diseases or virus about rabbits. It was very handy and detailed about the symptoms. I am a bit sad that these poor little rabbits are almost dying or wipe out because of myxomatosis. They were really cute and also a stress reliever for me. But it was nice to hear that they are soon back up in good numbers. I hope that doctors can find a cure to this disease.
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