To clean a rabbit, cut off its neck and head, and let the blood drain out. Then cut off its forefeet and tail, remove the pelt, and rinse the carcass with cold water. Cut the animal open from the abdomen area to the lowest rib, and carefully remove the entrails. Rinse the carcass again, and store it at 35 degrees Fahrenheit. Use gloves during the whole process to avoid any contact with the animal's blood.
It is convenient to hang the animal up by one of the hind legs from a meat hook. Use a sharp butcher's knife for all of the procedures.
To remove the pelt, cut the rabbit's skin around the first joint of one of the legs. Sever the leg, and do the same procedure with the other leg. Connect the two cuts with a long cut from the inside of a leg to the base of the tail, then pull the skin away from the meat.
There are many recipes for cooking a rabbit's heart, lungs, liver, kidneys and other organs, as well as its meat. It is generally easier to skin a young animal rather than an old one, and a young animal's meat is more soft and tender.