Essential Pest Solutions

RHDV1 Pest Rabbits & Pet Rabbits

Notice for owners of domestic rabbits

Take precaution against pest rabbit virus

Pest Rabbits & Pet Rabbits

Rabbit owners should contact their local vets to vaccinate their pet rabbits, and seek advice on how to keep them safe from the biological control Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV), or calicivirus’.

There are multiple strains of RHDV1 and RHDV2 present throughout Australia, which play an important role in supressing pest rabbit numbers.

The commercial rabbit vaccine will protect domestic rabbits from RHDV1 strains, but not RHDV2 strains.

Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease (RHD)
RHDV1-K5 Map

The RHDV1-K5 strain was first released in 2017. RHDV1-K5 provides better pest rabbit control in cooler-wetter climates than other strains.

RHDV only affects rabbits. It is not harmful to native animals, humans, or domestic pets other than rabbits. The virus can be spread by direct contact or by insect vectors, and can persist in the environment (soil, pasture, hay and clothing).

What can you do to protect your pet?

  • Keep vaccinations up to date.
  • Keep rabbits in insect-proof enclosures or inside the house.
  • Avoid contact with unfamiliar rabbits.
  • Have good insect control.
  • Regularly disinfect pet enclosures.
  • Report sick rabbits to your vet.
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