RHDV2 safety statements from Sherwood, Oxbow, & Small Pet Select

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Blue eyes

Staff member
Mar 19, 2012
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Arizona, USA
Since some have expressed concern regarding hay being a potential source of transmitting the RHDV2 virus to our rabbits, I thought it might be of some comfort to see what two manufacturers have stated.

(I'll link this under the RHDV2 thread too.)


Worried about RHVD2? This virus is specific to rabbits and is new to the USA just a few years ago. We are very concerned and it is now rapidly spreading through both wild and domestic rabbits. To eliminate the remote chance of picking up the virus from hay where wild rabbits can spread the virus (our food is mostly hay) we want you to know that we own our manufacturing plant in northern Utah and we have been working on an additional viral 'kill step' to ensure your pet rabbits are safe from RHVD2 and any other viruses in the future. Until this new viral kill step is installed, we we have purchased a large supply of 2019 hay from our supplier in central Idaho - currently still a virus free area. For their safety you still need to ask your vet about a vaccine because the virus can be tracked into your house on your feet if you walk in an area with wild rabbits.


From a product perspective, please know that all Oxbow hay currently in the marketplace is from the 2019 growing season. As we mentioned, current estimates from the USDA indicate that RHDV2 could theoretically remain viable on a carrier for up to 3 months under ideal environmental conditions. Looking at the timing of the recently confirmed cases, we can assure you that no Oxbow hay in the marketplace is currently at risk for carrying RHDV2.

Even with the extremely low risk, we will continue to practice extreme caution when it comes to product safety regarding RHDV2. As we look to the future, we are currently evaluating additional safeguards to ensure that all of the hay we source in the coming months has been processed in a manner that minimizes the chance of Oxbow hay carrying RHDV2 to the greatest degree possible.

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Well-Known Member
Apr 25, 2020
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USA - East Coast
Small Pet Select's Statement:

Information About Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV)

Updated August 3, 2020

What is RHDV?

Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV) is a highly contagious disease that affects domestic (pet) rabbits as well as cottontails, snowshoe hares and jackrabbits.

The disease was confirmed in domestic and wild rabbits beginning in March 2020 in New Mexico. By July 31, the RHDV outbreak had spread to seven states in the southwest USA.

To see affected states and counties, visit the USDA interactive map.

For a comprehensive overview of RHDV, including tips for protecting your rabbit, visit the House Rabbit Society website. Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV) | House Rabbit Society

Is Small Pet Select hay grown in the states where the RHDV outbreak occurred?

No. There have been no reported cases of RHDV2 in the areas where our hay is grown.

What steps are you taking to keep your hay as safe as possible?

According to the USDA reports we are following, the virus is estimated to live approximately 90 days in the environment only if conditions are ideal.

The hay we are currently selling is from the 2019 growing season.

The 2020 harvest of our premium Washington state hay has begun. In mid-July, we started to move this year’s first-cut timothy and orchard through our quality control processes.

We will store this hay securely at our warehouses for 90 days. After October 19, 2020, this hay will be available on our website and ready to ship to you.

What other steps are you taking?

We continue to work closely with rabbit health experts to get the latest updates on the current outbreak of RHDV. We will continue to share information with you.

For detailed information from the USDA, visit: USDA APHIS | Risk Identification

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