Important message, please SPREAD THE WORD TO ALL BREEDERS:
Limit rabbits movements; sales, purchases, agricultural exhibitions, shows, rallies.
If suspected, contact 1-844-ANIMALS; unusual symptoms, mortality, etc.
This is the statement from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency:
Declaration: Survey of a local outbreak of rabbit haemorrhagic disease in Quebec
August 25, 2016 - Ottawa (Ontario) - Government of Canada
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) investigation of a local outbreak of rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD) in small recreational farms East-du-Québec.
A survey is conducted on three farms near Rimouski, Quebec. The three farms are under quarantine to control the movements of animals, products and equipment and to prevent the spread of the disease. The outbreak is restricted to small recreational farms. Rabbits breeding commercial farms are not subject to this investigation.
The rabbit haemorrhagic disease is highly contagious and often fatal for the affected rabbits. This virus is transmitted to other rabbits through secretions, including saliva, eyes and nose runny, urine, feces and bedding, contaminated food and water. It can also be spread accidentally by humans, wildlife and insects or infected meat or fur.
The disease does not affect humans and has never been known impacts in other animals.
We remind operators of commercial and recreational farms to use biosecurity practices to minimize the risk of spread of the disease. Producers must do the following:
Report any suspicious symptoms to a veterinarian or provincial veterinary authority. 1-844-animals
Do not introduce new rabbits in their establishment if the animals come from a place where there was illness or death during the previous 60 days.
The CFIA is working with the province of Quebec as part of this survey and will provide updates as they become available.
Update on the Quebec Rabbit Hemmorhagic Disease. Only two PET rabbits at ONE person's home tested positive for the disease in Rimouski Quebec. The other two farms are under quarantine only because of the close proximity to the one hobby farm. This information came from the Veterinarian in Rimouski. No info yet on where the rabbits got this disease from. There are NO other cases.
What is RVHD?
Symptoms may include:
- Loss of appetite
- High Fever
- Sudden death
- The incubation period of this disease is very short, and rabbits may die within 48 hours of exposure to the virus that causes VHD.
- The death rate of rabbits exposed to this virus is very high, between 50 and 100%, with the latter number probably being closer to actual mortality rates. Rabbits who survive this disease are carriers and shed the virus for at least 42 days, perhaps longer.
- Rabbit calicivirus is a very hardy virus, remaining viable in the environment for 105 days at 68F (i.e. remains stable for 105 days at room temperature) and for 225 days at 39F. It resists freezing.
- There is no known cure for VHD. Vaccinations are available in countries where the disease in endemic, but there is no vaccine currently available in the US.