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The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (WRC) is proposing temporary, emergency regulations that could impact those who train or participate in field trials with rabbits.

At the request of many local field trial clubs and the AKC, the WRC has agreed to extend the comment period for this proposal to April 27, 2020.  Scroll down for information on how to comment. 


The proposed regulations, which would likely be implemented immediately, would do the following:

  • Define “Controlled Rabbit Hunting Preserve” – The regulations apply to “an area that is completely and permanently enclosed with a metal fence designed to prevent the escape or entry of rabbits at any time where box-trapped rabbits are released for the purposes of hunting with dogs.”
  • Require new licensing for rabbit hunting preserves – No one may operate a controlled rabbit hunting preserve without obtaining a controlled hunting preserve operator license from the commission. Licensees must keep records on the number of rabbits released into the preserve, the county of origin, and the contact information of the person who provided the rabbits.
  • Mandate hunting licenses for participants – Anyone participating in the pursuit of rabbits on a hunting preserve must have a valid resident or nonresident hunting license, unless otherwise exempt. It is unclear how this would impact those training on their own property.
  • Mandate inspections – Representatives of the commission must be permitted to enter a licensed controlled hunting preserve on request or during operating hours for “inspection, enforcement or scientific purposes.”

The full regulations may be viewed on the Wildlife Resources Commission website (click the link and scroll to page 2).

What You Can Do:

It is unclear at this time why this issue is considered urgent and therefore subject to these temporary regulations.  AKC appreciates, however, that the commission has allowed for an extension of the contact period, and encourages those who hunt, train, and participate in field trials to take advantage of this opportunity for comment.

You may submit comments by April 27, 2020 in one of the following ways:

Mail: Rule Making Coordinator
1701 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1701


AKC Government Relations continues to closely monitor these regulations and work with local residents to communicate with the commission.  For questions or more information, contact AKC GR at