RHDV

RHDV

VACCINE IS AVAILABLE! Contact us for information on known clinics and vets offering appointments!

Information on Virus: http://www.rabbit.org/rhdv

10/25/2023 Update from Michael Cahill, Division o f Animal Health, MA Department of Agricultural Resources:

The Department is aware of the reported case of RHVD2 found in Connecticut.  At this time it appears the disease has affected a group of domestic rabbits kept in a single household, and that the disease was contained to that household.  A widespread outbreak of RHDV does not exist anywhere east of the Mississippi river.

As was suspected in the November 2021 case in New York, the virus was likely brought into the home on hay, greens or vegetables sourced from an area where RHDV2 was spreading in the wild rabbit population, such as the Western US.  There is currently no indication that the disease has been introduced into wild rabbits in the Northeast, and our wildlife colleagues in Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, and other states will continue to monitor that situation.

Medgene’s Experimental RHDV2 vaccine has been granted Emergency Use Authorization by CVB (USDA Center for Veterinary Biologics).  Fortunately, no “emergency” exists in Massachusetts, as again, the disease is not spreading among wild rabbits or between households keeping domestic rabbits.  The Emergency Use Authorization approval is normally reserved for areas that are already affected by the disease as is the case in the Western US.  This vaccine has not yet been approved for higher levels of licensure.  Medgene had initially informed States that their vaccine would be conditionally licensed by CVB around the end of 2021, but this has been delayed.

At this time, practicing proper biosecurity and avoiding potentially contaminated feed are the best ways to protect rabbits and prevent the spread of disease. Attached is a comprehensive biosecurity document for your review. Consider sourcing feed including hay, greens, and vegetables from states where disease is not circulating in wildlife. The Mass Grown and Fresher site may be a good resource for finding locally grown produce year-round:

https://www.mass.gov/orgs/massachusetts-grownand-fresher