RHDV2 and Biosecurity

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igorsMistress

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Hi all. I've been reading about this nasty bug for a couple of months. It is present in wild rabbits here in AZ and it's got me thinking about it.

Does anyone practice biosecurity? If so, what's your procedure?

I'll go first: I have chickens and so had biosecurity measures in place well before I got a rabbit. I never share any equipment with others and have specific shoes that never leave my property. I don't let anyone wear shoes into my house and don't allow people into my backyard. When my husband works at a cement plant near the river bed he has to dip his boot soles in a 10% bleach solution and leave them in the garage to dry. I have two pairs if shoes I wear out so those get the same treatment, especially if we've been to the park. I don't let my bunny outside right now either.

So what safety precautions are you taking?
 

Apollo’s Slave

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That sounds very secure! And smart! Especially as there isn’t the vaccine isn’t widely available yet.

Our precaution: Annual vaccinations (but I understand that that may not be available for you)
 

Blue eyes

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I had just read this article a few days ago (from June 30):

It mentions that,
"We had one guy with 200 rabbits, and he lost them all between a Friday afternoon and Sunday evening," Zimmerman added. "It just went through and killed everything." :eek:

and also that,
The virus is also hard to kill: It can live for more than three months at room temperature. It survives temperatures of 122 degrees Fahrenheit for at least an hour and can't be killed by freezing, according to the House Rabbit Society.

What's more, the virus has no cure, and obtaining a vaccine in the US is a time-consuming process.

Getting a vaccine in the US takes weeks

Since the virus originated overseas, there's no licensed vaccine available in the US yet.

I'm no scientist, but I don't know if it is quite accurate to say "It is present in wild rabbits here in AZ" because that seems to imply that all wild rabbits have it. My understanding is that there are some rabbits (wild and domestic) that have it (and it is highly contagious). That is why they are asking people to report any dead rabbits they may see -- so they can test and then get a better handle on how far it has spread.

I have been keeping a close eye in my area since we have so many cottontails around. I have not yet seen any dead ones.

@igorsMistress , I commend you for your diligent measures. I just keep my rabbit indoors. Not sure what I'll do if (when??) the virus comes to our property. We have dogs that are in and out of the house all day and the rabbit does hop around in the house where the dogs are. :(



 

zuppa

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This virus can also be spread by insects like flies, mosquitos etc so I don't think that your precautions would really help against it.

There are vaccines available outside of the US protecting for one year period but US department of Agriculture have to approve them before they can be imported into the US. It could take time.

In fact this virus causes hepatitis. It can't be grown in vitro so vaccines can be only produced by intentionally infecting healthy laboratory rabbits with it and then their livers are used to harvest the vaccines. On one infected rabbit they can grow thousands vaccine doses so there's also some ethical issues.

This virus can also survive in meat for a few months so importing rabbit meat can also cause further spread of it. If there's one case in a rabbitry you got 70-100% that all rabbits will get it within 3-5 days. So no surprise that they lost all 200 rabbits in no time.

Basically, you can't protect your rabbits by keeping your shoes clean unfortunately, of course outdoor rabbits are more at risk but it's really just your luck and if there's any cases close enough to you.

If you feel better disinfecting your clothes and shoes maybe add to that protection from insects like window net etc.
 

zuppa

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Honestly, my grandpa worked in a country with high rate of hepatitis for a number of years and my family lived there as well. So in my family we adopted some rules like you change your clothes and shoes when you come home from town and also wash your hands before you touch anything at home. Never drink or eat in public places from their glasses or plates, using forks etc, never touch your face and so on and so forth. So now I've read your post again and in fact I do the same all the time, I don't use bleach on my shoes but I change my shoes and clothes, wash my hands when I come home too.
 

igorsMistress

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I had just read this article a few days ago (from June 30):

It mentions that,
"We had one guy with 200 rabbits, and he lost them all between a Friday afternoon and Sunday evening," Zimmerman added. "It just went through and killed everything." :eek:

and also that,
The virus is also hard to kill: It can live for more than three months at room temperature. It survives temperatures of 122 degrees Fahrenheit for at least an hour and can't be killed by freezing, according to the House Rabbit Society.

What's more, the virus has no cure, and obtaining a vaccine in the US is a time-consuming process.

Getting a vaccine in the US takes weeks

Since the virus originated overseas, there's no licensed vaccine available in the US yet.

I'm no scientist, but I don't know if it is quite accurate to say "It is present in wild rabbits here in AZ" because that seems to imply that all wild rabbits have it. My understanding is that there are some rabbits (wild and domestic) that have it (and it is highly contagious). That is why they are asking people to report any dead rabbits they may see -- so they can test and then get a better handle on how far it has spread.

I have been keeping a close eye in my area since we have so many cottontails around. I have not yet seen any dead ones.

@igorsMistress , I commend you for your diligent measures. I just keep my rabbit indoors. Not sure what I'll do if (when??) the virus comes to our property. We have dogs that are in and out of the house all day and the rabbit does hop around in the house where the dogs are. :(
Thank you. From what I've read some rabbits will survive it but it's still a frightening prospect. I read that some wild rabbits in Tucson and Flagstaff have died from it, that pretty much puts Phoenix in the middle.
 

igorsMistress

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This virus can also be spread by insects like flies, mosquitos etc so I don't think that your precautions would really help against it.

There are vaccines available outside of the US protecting for one year period but US department of Agriculture have to approve them before they can be imported into the US. It could take time.

In fact this virus causes hepatitis. It can't be grown in vitro so vaccines can be only produced by intentionally infecting healthy laboratory rabbits with it and then their livers are used to harvest the vaccines. On one infected rabbit they can grow thousands vaccine doses so there's also some ethical issues.

This virus can also survive in meat for a few months so importing rabbit meat can also cause further spread of it. If there's one case in a rabbitry you got 70-100% that all rabbits will get it within 3-5 days. So no surprise that they lost all 200 rabbits in no time.

Basically, you can't protect your rabbits by keeping your shoes clean unfortunately, of course outdoor rabbits are more at risk but it's really just your luck and if there's any cases close enough to you.

If you feel better disinfecting your clothes and shoes maybe add to that protection from insects like window net etc.
While I understand your reasoning and I've considered the flies and mosquitos, I disagree that we can't mitigate at least some of the risk. I use an effective mosquito/flea/tick repellant on my property and fly traps. I'm diligent about keeping my coops clean and my yard raked of droppings. We get the occasional fly in the house but that's fairly rare and we kill them immediately. Also, this is summer time and we are regularly 110* + here so my windows and doors aren't open.

Having my husband bleach the soles of his boots after working near the river is just a best practice. It's not just for my bunny, it's for my chickens as well. The rest of the time he's walking on asphalt and I guarantee that gets hotter than 122 degrees for an hour.
 

Diane R

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This virus can also be spread by insects like flies, mosquitos etc so I don't think that your precautions would really help against it.

There are vaccines available outside of the US protecting for one year period but US department of Agriculture have to approve them before they can be imported into the US. It could take time.

In fact this virus causes hepatitis. It can't be grown in vitro so vaccines can be only produced by intentionally infecting healthy laboratory rabbits with it and then their livers are used to harvest the vaccines. On one infected rabbit they can grow thousands vaccine doses so there's also some ethical issues.

This virus can also survive in meat for a few months so importing rabbit meat can also cause further spread of it. If there's one case in a rabbitry you got 70-100% that all rabbits will get it within 3-5 days. So no surprise that they lost all 200 rabbits in no time.

Basically, you can't protect your rabbits by keeping your shoes clean unfortunately, of course outdoor rabbits are more at risk but it's really just your luck and if there's any cases close enough to you.

If you feel better disinfecting your clothes and shoes maybe add to that protection from insects like window net etc.
The new Nobivac Myxo RHD plus vaccine does not use 'live rabbits'. You are right, insects can spread RHD and it can even be in food (hay) so keeping bunnies indoors does not offer full protection.
 

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