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Absolutely riddled last year with rabbits On my permissions last season now there is near enough nothing plenty about in summer and now there gone completely around Bradford area and up towards skipton any one else noticed a massive drop in numbers not see this few for a long time had a full day Sunday and ended up with one , no signs of mixy or rhvd the very few I’ve lamped have all been healthy 

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Sounds like it has to be RVHD2, you generally won’t see any evidence of it. The rabbits will all die underground and the ones you catch will look healthy, it’s a shitter but it’s endemic throughout the country and it amazes me the sheer volume of rabbits people up north still seem to catch. Down south it hit around 4/5 years ago and I went from getting 40 + on some permissions to 4, I kid you not I am afraid. They are very slowly recovering but will take some time to get back to those levels if indeed they ever do. Only consolation and small positive to take from this is in Australia this strain basically burned itself out and after 10 years populations were back to pre RVHD2 levels again. Pretty obvious but the last few years I have gone from 30+ average haul to 5 and spread myself a lot thinner just taking a few from each spot, if you wipe out what’s left then don’t expect them to ever recover. It’s shit but that’s the reality unfortunately. 

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Sorry to say my patch in East Anglia is the same. Just ferreted two fields where I caught about 20 in one day last year. Couldn't believe the dog was not marking but should have trusted him. Only caught 2 with 1 getting away ☹️. Minimal evidence of rabbit grazing so it's not they saw me coming 😂

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13 minutes ago, WHWT said:

Still plenty and I mean plenty (long may it last) up here in Northumberland, as said we are not trying and still picking 30 40 up. Hope that RVHD does not get up here🤞

PUD

Must be when I was a little kid I caught that many no chance round here 15 on a good day 

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Used to love ferreting an really enjoyed keeping an working my ferrets that I’d done for yrs over about the last 5-7yrs rabbit numbers have dropped an dropped that it is no longer viable to keep ferrets no more I always used to keep 3 Jill’s an a hob then breed when I needed I used to have some decent ferreting permission all nearly lost because there’s no rabbits to ferret no more I do still have use of a hob that I gifted as a pet that I can use at the drop of a hat when ever I find a half decent Warren to have a crack at I’ve got a farm that at the beginning of the season I was asked all rabbits need to be gone there was no numbers on there I’d say about 30 rabbits on this farm I’ve took mainly lamping I’ve had 2 ferreting trips on there a 5 an a 4 day it seems a shame to eradicate them off the farm it’s like a gost town on there now. but still noticing even if I lamp rabbits from season to season there becoming less an less about even when freelancing about all over the shop rabbits are still the bread an butter to run with my dog I keep now but even the type of dog I keep now as had to change because of declining rabbit numbers it’s a shame 

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It’s obviously hard when a land owner asks form eradication of rabbits on there land but I do my absolute best to make a show but do an awful job as the last thing I want is to wipe them out. I have found that whereas a few years ago you caught 15 of a hedge there would be 15 there the next year now if you catch 15 there will 1 or 2 there next year they just don’t bounce back like they used to. On the flip side though if I catch 5 of the 15 there’s a decent chance there will be 15 again the following year, more like a game keeper these days than a pest controller! 

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It all seems so patchy and very localised down here. We get smaller numbers than about five years ago no longer seem get twenty. We hit the odd purple patch and get in double figures. We back to a permission where we left a hedge that had a nice few in end of season last year, there's rabbit there but not in the same numbers. When I was a kid there were not that many rabbits around here two or three of us would go out all day for three or four rabbit if we were lucky. Picked up and slowly mind till was not uncommon to get a 25 score. But I can't get over the fact that you might get rabbits in a small area then three or four fields away nothing. My thinking is RHD has killed areas off and rabbits that travel from thick areas into the dead zone don't come back. The go to ground in the dead area the RHD lives for three months in the ground and die, the three months starts again. These areas will take a long time to recover imo. Just my theory why its so patchy.

Cheers Arry

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3 hours ago, Arry said:

It all seems so patchy and very localised down here. We get smaller numbers than about five years ago no longer seem get twenty. We hit the odd purple patch and get in double figures. We back to a permission where we left a hedge that had a nice few in end of season last year, there's rabbit there but not in the same numbers. When I was a kid there were not that many rabbits around here two or three of us would go out all day for three or four rabbit if we were lucky. Picked up and slowly mind till was not uncommon to get a 25 score. But I can't get over the fact that you might get rabbits in a small area then three or four fields away nothing. My thinking is RHD has killed areas off and rabbits that travel from thick areas into the dead zone don't come back. The go to ground in the dead area the RHD lives for three months in the ground and die, the three months starts again. These areas will take a long time to recover imo. Just my theory why its so patchy.

Cheers Arry

There’s a spot not far from me that water board own been going on for years since I was about 11 year old with my first ferrets no one ever bothered me site manager once said you can go on but I didnt let you if anything happens to you when I say there was rabbits I’ve never seen as many in my life has been for years up until this year could go once a month and double bag went last Sunday and nothing I saw a couple warrens half run that dog marked but I left them very sad to see it like that that place has fed my ferrets season after season for years pretty sure no one else goes never seen a soul on it or any signs I’ve never told anyone about it it’s a very hidden place I found by chance on my old trials bike messing about as kids it has to be rhvd no signs of mixy round here very sad do after all the years I’ve worked my ferrets and dogs on that little gem 

gaz

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14 hours ago, Bobtheferret said:

It’s obviously hard when a land owner asks form eradication of rabbits on there land but I do my absolute best to make a show but do an awful job as the last thing I want is to wipe them out. I have found that whereas a few years ago you caught 15 of a hedge there would be 15 there the next year now if you catch 15 there will 1 or 2 there next year they just don’t bounce back like they used to. On the flip side though if I catch 5 of the 15 there’s a decent chance there will be 15 again the following year, more like a game keeper these days than a pest controller! 

Many farmers like that now I had an old boy ring me last year asking for as many ferreting lads I know to sort his paddock out there was a few about but not massive numbers 4 of us went up and had about 25 between us we showed him and about a month later he said he’s seen loads more about and said don’t bother I’ll get someone to shoot them never heard from him again weird breed them farmers only a horse paddock and very little damage was done by the rabbits really arable land I understand but not a grazing paddock there’s  a lot more to answer for low numbers than rhvd and mixy I’ve seen them fill warrens with tankers full of slurry and dig them up with 360s but on the other hand I’ve had some perm for years and he’s happy for me to leave few every year for next years sport as long as he doesn’t get overrun wich is fair enough 

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