While comforting to children, practice may help circulate rabbit virus RVHD2
Burying dead pet rabbits in the garden is a sad, but consoling childhood ritual that many adults recall with fondness. No longer: rabbit owners are being warned that garden burials may be helping to spread a deadly virus across the UK’s rabbit and hare populations.
The first cases of rabbit viral haemorrhagic disease (RVHD2), which causes death by internal bleeding, were reported in the UK in 2013. It is believed to have spread among wild rabbits, and cases in wild hares have also appeared recently.
Burying pet rabbits in gardens could spread deadly virus, vets warn