British Rabbit Council shares its concerns
Vets are being urged to make rabbit hemorrhagic disease type 2 vaccine (RHD-2) part of their core rabbit vaccination programme.
In a letter to Vet Record (Vol 181 No 19), Sarah Elliott of the British Rabbit Council and Richard Saunders of the Rabbit Welfare Association share their concerns that some vets are telling owners that vaccination is not required.
They write: ‘We have been concerned to hear that, following breeders recommending that newly acquired pet rabbits are taken to their vet for vaccination, some owners are being told that this is not necessary.
‘A recurring conversation at rabbit shows and on public social media has been that pet rabbit owners know nothing about RHD-2 despite having their rabbits vaccinated yearly against myxomatosis and RHD-1.
‘We would also ask that if a breeder approaches a vet to source and provide vaccine for them that you assist with this. Some breeders have a large number of rabbits and we would ask that you offer a site visit to vaccinate their stock.’
RHD2 is a devastating disease that is highly fatal to rabbits that have not been vaccinated. Since it's discovery in the UK in 2010, the disease has spread throughout much of the country and is now more dominant than RHD-1.
In October 2016, following concerns over a lack of vaccine, the European Medicines Agency issued a marketing authorisation for the vaccine ERAVAC to reduce mortality. This was later followed by Filavic, which received its UK licence in April 2017.