Statements regarding RHDV Vaccinations and Biosecurity Measures by State

Oct 26, 2021 by Christie Taylor

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California: “Rabbit owners are urged to protect their animals by preventing contact with wild rabbits and jackrabbits, and if possible, keep domestic rabbits indoors in areas with known disease. House outdoor rabbits off the ground when possible. Owners are also asked to practice biosecurity to prevent accidentally spreading the RHDV2 virus to their rabbits. Avoid feeding hay grown or stored outdoors in areas where wild rabbits are affected. Apparently healthy rabbits can spread the disease, so rabbit owners should avoid direct or indirect contact between their animals and other rabbits.”

Colorado: “After seeing many devastating cases of Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease across the state since last year, we are pleased to make the new Medgene Labs RHDV2 available to Colorado veterinarians in order to protect our state’s domestic rabbit population,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Maggie Baldwin. “It is important to remember, however, that vaccination is only one of the tools available to prevent this disease. The most important thing that rabbit owners can use is to implement good biosecurity and prevent their rabbits from interacting with wild rabbits.”

Iowa: “While a vaccine is available, practicing good biosecurity is still the best way to protect the health of domestic rabbits.”

Michigan: “Even with the availability of this RHDV2 vaccine, rabbit owners should be following good biosecurity practices-both before an animal’s vaccination and afterward. Biosecurity measures help to protect any animal from harmful diseases, keeping them healthy.” 

Mississippi: There is no specific recommendation post-vaccination for Mississippi concerning biosecurity.

Nebraska: “Enhanced biosecurity helps prevent the introduction and spread of viruses and diseases including RHDV and should always be taken to protect rabbits, even if they are vaccinated.”

Oklahoma: “ODAFF recommends rabbit owners continue to practice strict biosecurity measures to prevent the spread of RHDV2.”

Oregon: “The best way to protect your rabbits to to practice strong biosecurity practices. There is no cure or treatment for RHD and although a vaccine is available under emergency use authorization, its efficiency at protecting rabbits is not well known. Use the documents below for information on biosecurity and sanitation practices​ to protect your rabbits from RHD.”

South Carolina: “While South Carolina has no known cases of RHDV2, it is important to give veterinarians and rabbit owners another preventative option to use with increased biosecurity,” Neault said. “This is an experimental vaccine that USDA CVB indicates is safe and it will give veterinarians and rabbit owners another tool to work with.”

Tennessee: There is no specific guidance regarding post-vaccination biosecurity for Tennessee.

Wisconsin: ” …Even with vaccine use, DATCP recommends that everyone who works with or cares for rabbits follow these biosecurity practices from the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS.”

Utah: “It is important to practice good biosecurity whether your rabbits are vaccinated or not.”

List compiled by Iris Klimczuk.