Mr Bigglesworth has recently joined a group on Facebook called "Against K5 Virus and For a Vaccine to Save Rabbits from RHDV2. This group is fighting for Australian domestic rabbits to receive a vaccine to protect them.
The group reports the number of deaths and where the virus has spread to in Australia. It's a awful and highly contagious virus and we need protection for our bunnies.
The group has put together a petition for people to sign, which will be given to the Australian Government.
Please sign the 2 petitions below:
What is RHD?
Rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD) is caused by the rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV), a type of calicivirus which is fatal in non-immune rabbits. There are currently two strains of this virus in wild rabbit populations in Australia, with a third now released called RHDV2 (no vaccine available)
. Rabbit owners should ensure their rabbits are vaccinated to protect against the original strain of the virus, RHDV1. However, the vaccine does not protect against all strains, so additional measures must be taken to reduce the risk of rabbits being exposed to RHDV.
What are the symptoms of RHDV?
RHDV damages internal organs such as the liver and intestines and may cause bleeding. Signs include fever, restlessness, lethargy and poor appetite with bleeding from the nose and/or blood on the floor where rabbits are housed. Often infected rabbits will show no signs and die suddenly. If a pet rabbit is showing signs, a veterinarian should be contacted immediately. There is no remedy for RHD but affected rabbits can be given supportive treatment.
How does RHDV spread?
All RHDV strains can spread easily from infected rabbits in droppings, urine, secretions from the eyes and nose, and at mating. Spread can also occur from contaminated objects such as food, clothing, cages, equipment, insects (especially flies), birds and rodents. The virus can survive in the environment for three and a half months over hotter periods but up to seven and a half months in moderate temperatures.
RHDV2 - no vaccine is available in Australia that specifically protects against RHDV2
The vaccine is available in France but not Australia.