8 Ways to Humanely Kill a Rabbit/Bunny

There may be several reasons why one might want to kill and get rid of a rabbit humanely.

This is an important skill to learn if you plan to dispatch your rabbit soon.

Luckily, there are several ways you can do so. The best method is the one that brings the least amount of pain to them.

This would be beneficial for both you and the animal.

In this guide, we will be going over these humane methods of dispatching rabbits. You can choose whichever method seems the most convenient for you.

However, make sure you meticulously follow each step.

Why Kill a Rabbit?

There are several reasons why one might have to kill a rabbit.

The most common reason is their meat consumption. Many farm-owners breed their own rabbits to consume the rabbit’s meat.

Rabbit meat is decadent, soft, and can be used for various dishes.

This is why certain supermarkets also sell their meat. But for those living in the wilderness and off the grid, they might have no choice but to kill and consume them.

Moreover, there are cases when a rabbit might have a chronic illness or are deformed, even the baby rabbits.

If they are in excessive pain and there is nothing you or the veterinarian can do about it, it might be best to kill them. This would put them out of their misery.

In fact, when an animal is in such pain wherein medicine cannot do anything, putting them to permanent sleep is a good idea.

Lastly, there are also cases when you might need to kill a rabbit to destroy your garden humanely.  

While they seem like cute cartoon characters, they can create havoc when they take residence in your garden.

Since rabbits breed extensively, it might not be easy to control them if they breed in your garden.

However, it is important to note that killing them should be the last resort in such cases. There are several ways you can get rid of rabbits from your yard/garden without killing them.

You can create fences around your garden. Alternatively, you can also trap the rabbits.

However, ensure that the trap is set in the shade and relocate the rabbit as soon as you have caught it.

How to Humanely Kill a Rabbit

There are many ways to kill a rabbit. However, not all of them are humane.

Some can be significantly painful for the animal, while others end their lives in a second.

It is important to choose a method that is simple for you and provides the least amount of pain to them.

Depending on why you want to kill a rabbit, you can choose an appropriate method from the following:

The Bowl Method

This is a suitable method to kill a sick or deformed young rabbit. The bowl method is fast, easy, and leads to an instant and painless kill.

It is best for rabbits up to six weeks old.

You have to place the rabbit on a hard surface in this method.

Place an overturned bowl above the rabbit’s head, making sure the lips of the bowl meet the rabbit’s neck.

Make sure that the bowl has a narrow and slim edge. If you don’t have a bowl, use a metal rod.

In one swift movement, press down on the bowl or rod while simultaneously pulling the rabbit’s legs upwards with your other hand.

This will break the rabbit’s neck and lead to cervical dislocation, killing them instantly.

You must note that the rabbit’s head might completely separate from his body through this method. Regardless, it is best to pull too hard rather than not pull hard enough.

The Broomstick Method

This method is quite similar to the bowl one. The difference is that it involves using a broomstick instead of a bowl, and it can be used for older rabbits.

This method leads to an instant kill via cervical dislocation, similar to the bowl method.

In this method, you must place the rabbit on the floor. Then, place a broomstick on its neck.

Stand on one end of the broomstick, after which you must instantly step on the other end of the broomstick as well.

You have to then pull the rabbit upwards through its legs. Pull until the neck has been dislocated. The rabbit’s eyes might also be open.

You must know that this does not mean that the rabbit is alive since it is likely dead.

The Arterial Bleed Method

The Arterial method is a suitable choice if you plan to kill the animal for meat consumption humanely.

Although it does not lead to instant death, many people believe animals don’t feel pain. For them, it is like slowly going to sleep.

This method involves placing the animal on the floor. Then, with a sharp knife, slice through the jugular veins. This will simultaneously puncture the heart.

As a result, the animal’s blood pressure will slowly drop. Soon after, the rabbit will enter death throes. This is a clear signal that it is dead.

You can then slice off the head and hang them upside down, allowing all blood to drain.

If you are facing issues with cutting through the neck, you can use the broomstick to dislocate and remove the head from the body.

The Fatal Blow

With a quick blow to the rabbit’s head, you can render them either die instantly or unconscious.

This should dislocate the rabbit’s neck, but it can go wrong by the person killing the rabbit.

There is room for error with the Fatal Blow method, which is why you should be as swift with it as possible.

You should only do it if you are confident you can deliver this method meticulously and without errors.

To carry out this method, you should hold the rabbit with its hind feet and head down.

The rabbit’s straight back will form a V position from his ears. You want a proper V, so you can nudge the rabbit to encourage it to get in this position.

After this, strike a powerful blow to the point. This should be behind the head and shoulders.

If you are strong enough, you can carry out this blow with your hands. Otherwise, you can use a rod or long pipe.

Then, without wasting any time, cut off the head. The neck and head will dislocate easily at this point.

The Bag Method

This method works well for really small rabbits. In this, you will need to place them inside a small bag or an empty pillowcase.

Secure it from the top. Then, quickly and with full force, slam the bag against a hard surface, such as the ground.

You can repeat this movement a few times to ensure that the rabbit is dead.

The Knife Method

Another method that works great for small rabbits is the knife method. This one is certainly not recommended for older and bigger rabbits.

This is because their spine is too developed, which means that the knife will not go all the way through their necks.

Here, you will need to take a large and sharp knife.

As a butcher would, you should swiftly use the knife to slice through the neck and cut the rabbit’s head off.

You must ensure that you are using a sharp knife to kill a rabbit humanely if you carry out this method.

Using a CO2 Chamber

The CO2 chamber is not the best method to kill a rabbit, but it is relatively humane.

However, unless you already have a CO2 chamber, it will be difficult and costly to carry out.

In this method, you simply need to put the rabbit in the CO2 chamber and wait to die slowly.

This method is not entirely foolproof as animals have been known to pass out and revive later.

The Shooting Method

Many people, typically hunters, use rifles to kill rabbits. However, since they are small animals, this method requires a lot of skill and practice.

They will even move, especially if they know someone is nearby.

Shooting them is also not an entirely clean method because they will spill blood everywhere.

Methods that Are Inhumane

If you plan to kill a rabbit, ensure you avoid the following methods.

These are cruel and cause unnecessary suffering to the animal.


Letting the animal slowly die from freezing is inhumane. This is because they will feel the ice crystals forming in their body, which can be very painful.

This method of killing is also quite slow.


This is, of course, a no-go because it inflicts the maximum amount of pain and suffering on the animal.

Drowning or Suffocation

In this method, the animal will struggle to breathe and find rescue options for a few minutes. As a result, their death will be lengthy.

For this reason, this method is considered inhumane.

Letting Nature Take Its Course

If the rabbit has a serious illness, disease, or untreatable injury, letting them die slowly is completely inhumane.

If they have no hope for recovery, it is best to end their misery.


There is no special poison made for killing rabbits, so using any type of poison is not recommended.

It might lead to more problems than actually killing the animal.

Whichever method you choose to kill a rabbit, make sure it is an entirely humane, painless, and easy method.

It should inflict the least amount of suffering on the animal. Good luck!

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