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Talkback: Rabbits and myxomatosis

Well said, Pippa. I remember the poor rabbits strewn about the country roads in dreadful distress in the early fifties when I used to go cy...

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Well said, Pippa. I remember the poor rabbits strewn about the country roads in dreadful distress in the early fifties when I used to go cycling in the East Yorkshire countryside. It was very distressing.
I know you can't publish what you really think about that man, but I bet I share your sentiments. Humans are a cruel race at times.
In 2010 I had to have 2 rabbits put down who contracted myxomatosis. They were in the early stages of the disease, but it is the most horrible disease designed by man. I was really devasted to have them put down as there is no cure. I now have the remainder rabbits injected every 6 months so they don't get the disease. This is not a quick death it is like you say slow and painful. I think when pet shops sell rabbits they should inform people to get them injected to save the heart ache of them getting the disease. It is about time there was a cure for this disease.
I have rabbits in my country garden, they eat everything except the weeds! I've never forgiven them for eating all my young hellebores!
However, a year or so back I found a young rabbit sitting quietly at the edge of my garden, he didn't look well and made no attempt to move off when I got close up to him. His eyes were almost shut and he looked as if he was ready to nod off, however, he had disappeared when I came back to check on him.
What are the symptoms of "myx"?
Couldn't agree more, a horrible way to go. it tends to come in waves through areas, leaving a few resistant rabbits who increase in number till it returns and kills them off again. May not be very palatable but i put them out of there misery if i can get to them, i don't have the heart to leave them to die so slowly.


Yes myxi is dreadful but I am a really keen gardener and about to move into a property with hundreds of rabbits in the quarry and fields surrounding my plot. Their holes have been burrowed underneath my walled garden and I live in fear of falling down one and spraining my ankle. (I do not have any Alice in Wonderland yearnings)Once the house has been renovated I would love to make a small allotment area again and grow my own veg. But will I ever be able to with these PESTS. Someone told me to get a couple of cats and rabbits will be deterred from coming into the garden. Anyone heard this "folklore" remedy to work.

A terrier would be even better!


I hope that the Roman who decided to bring rabbits and large brown snails to England to feed his troops during the invasion died uncomfortably of obesity or such like and is now full of remorse!

Having just started to be invaded by the pesky bunny wabbits after 9 years, and having a garden full of herbasceous perennials that 95% are classed as wabbit food is making me hopping mad.  Elmer fudd and I have a lot in common, but I intend to get my wabbit.

Homelovingirl31 wrote (see)
What are the symptoms of "myx"?

They tend to get eye infections from the virus making them almost blind. When you see wild Rabbits near people  - as in people walking past - then that is normally a sign that myx is in the area. It kills them pretty quickly.

Laura Corin
It comes through here in waves too. There was a rabbit sitting by the road on Thursday - luckily my neighbour was prepared to dispatch it.

I'm not good at dispatching rabbits myself. Shortly after we moved here there were Myxi rabbits in the garden. I tipped one into a bin liner, tied the top (so it would suffocate) and put it in the bin. Two hours later, I went to put something else in the bin, only to see the live rabbit and the shredded bag at the bottom. It was not strong enough to avoid me, but it had enough self-preservation to chew its way out of the bag. Since then, I've left the rabbits to the foxes: we have a healthy fox population so I suspect the rabbits don't suffer for long. I've certainly found several dismembered rabbits recently.

There are one, two, three, four, five, six healthy little rabbits living under my woodpile. I have an area of garden fenced off and elsewhere I experiment with rabbit-unpalatable plants. So far, the winners are buddleia, alliums, lambs' ears, hellebores, euphorbia, daffodils, muscari, iris, rosemary and heather.

Trying to suffocate any animal by putting it in a bag in the bin is illegal.  It should be humanely dispatched, or left alone.

Shrinking Violet

It is a dreadful disease, and a shame on the human race for inventing it and introducing it.  I didn't realise that it was much in evidence now - obviously I was wrong.

What I have noticed, though, is that with a return to a healthier population of rabbits in this neck of the woods, there are more buzzards than had been seen for many years.  Clearly, the food chain has been re-established, to some degree, at least.

btw I recall a book by Russell Braddon called "The Year of the Angry Rabbit".  He was an Australian author, who wrote this fictional work based on the problems of rabbits and of myxomatosis.  I don't know if it's still in print or available - but worth reading if you do come across it.  (It effectively highlights the unforeseen consequences of meddling with nature).

I thought that rabbits had become immune to this terrible disease as I haven't seen evidence of it for some years. However today we found a rabbit with it in our garden under the bird feeder (could this affect our wild birds?) and last week saw one in a country lane.  Does this mean that man has re-introduced this vile method of control.

Don't you find it a bit scary - can they be 100% certain that this cannot mutate into something that could affect the human race - there is no way they can be 100% sure that it can't harm us, or other creatures!

Can they be 100% certain that this cannot enter the food-chain through unscrupulous meat dealers, or someone eating one caught as game in the early stages of myximatosis.

Shouldn't there be some Government legislation to stop 'men' meddling with nature in this dangerous fashion????

Now we have to go and find this poor creature and try and bring ourselves to despatch with it - which is totally against our nature.

08.03.16 - 18.00

Well, men have been meddling with nature in a cruel fashion from the dawn of time and now their weapons are becoming even more terrible. It is unlikely that they will stop now. 

On a less gloomy note, yes, I have found that the arrival of two healthy young cats persuaded all our pesky rabbits to leave. There are people on this site who will argue that cats should be allowed outdoors only at limited times or not at all in the interests of wildlife and other people's gardens and of course, if you hold this view, they will be of no use to you. I live in the country and regard my cats as workers as well as pets and give them a free rein because they control the rats and mice.

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