HRS Policies and Guidelines Regarding RHDV

profile of rabbit under chair

These are House Rabbit Society’s policies regarding RHD and recommended measures addressing this disease and outbreaks thereof. HRS members must respond quickly if an outbreak occurs while complying with federal, state, and local governmental agency directions regarding RHD.


HRS Policies Regarding RHD

  1. The role of HRS regarding this issue will be to provide support to the public by collecting, evaluating, and disseminating information on RHD.
  2. Each companion rabbit has intrinsic value and must be considered in policy conditions concerning RHD control.
  3. HRS recognizes the legal and ethical responsibility to report cases of this virulent disease and does not condone concealing this information from authorities.
  4. HRS shall not accept rabbits from areas where RHD is endemic without a 14-day quarantine.
  5. HRS shall not release membership or adoption records to authorities.
  6. HRS may appeal, on behalf of its members, any agency’s decision to recommend euthanasia for exposed companion rabbits in favor of less drastic measures such as strict quarantine.
  7. HRS will provide guidelines to protect rabbits during an outbreak.
  8. HRS volunteers shall follow the below-listed standards of practice recommended by HRS as to specific issues/topics, as well as those that from time to time shall be issued by HRS.

HRS General Guidelines Regarding RHDV

Guidelines to protect rabbits in an affected area during an outbreak:
  1. Wherever possible, limit contact with places where rabbits might be found, including breeders, shows, pet stores, state and county fairs, veterinary offices, homes, animal shelters, and wild rabbit habitats.
  2. Disinfect shoes, clothing, personal items, furnishings and the environment following approved procedures when contact with such an area is unavoidable.
  3. Follow quarantine procedures as directed by local regulatory agencies.
  4. If mandatory quarantine by a regulatory agency is in place, all rabbit movement into and out of the premises (including adoptions, purchases, exhibitions, sales, grooming, and nonessential veterinary care) should cease until the quarantine period ends.
  5. Seek veterinary evaluation of any unexplained rabbit death.
  6. Quarantine any rabbit who MAY have been exposed to RHD or its vectors for 14 days.
Guidelines to protect rabbits after an outbreak:
  1. Disinfect affected premises thoroughly and while adhering to approved procedures.
  2. Allow no new rabbits on the premises for 12 weeks.