A myxomatosis outbreak has left one of Fife’s most popular beauty spots littered with dead rabbits.
Animal welfare charity the Scottish SPCA says it has received a number of reports of dead and dying rabbits at Silver Sands beach in Aberdour.
Several rabbit carcases were visible on playing fields just yards from one of Fife’s most visited beauty spots on Friday.
Dog owners have reported finding rabbits that have died or have been suffering from myxomatosis – which does not affect other species.
Rabbits found by dog walkers at Silver Sands
Janice McLeish, a regular visitor to the area, said: “I saw a couple on Thursday and more today while out walking my dog.
“I spoke to another owner who also said they had seen some too.
“Most have been got at by seagulls and other birds.
“It’s quite concerning as my dog will tend to pick them up.”
Another dog owner said: “I’ve seen four dead rabbits on the field just in the last few minutes.
“I also witnessed a couple of live rabbits stood motionless further up the field.
“Usually they would be frightened off at the site of my dog but they never moved.
“I thought it was very odd, then a fellow walker mentioned that there had been an outbreak, which explains the sightings and the behaviour.”
“Myxomatosis is highly contagious among rabbits and unfortunately there is no cure.
“The symptoms include bulging eyes, which can sometimes be crusted shut, discharge from mouth and eyes and laboured breathing.
“Sadly, the disease does cause the animal to suffer and will eventually end in death.
“Unfortunately, the only way to eradicate the disease is by removing those with myxomatosis from the population.
“Our advice to anyone who spots a rabbit with myxomatosis is to try and contain the rabbit and contact us on 03000 999 999.”