Rabbit hemorrhagic disease is a serious and extremely contagious viral disease of domesticated and wild rabbits. Beginning in March 2020, samples submitted from wild rabbit deaths in southern New Mexico were identified to be positive for Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus Type 2 (RHDV-2). These were the first detections of RHDV-2 in wild North American hares. On March 24, 2020, the National Veterinary Services Laboratories, Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (NVSL-FADDL) confirmed positive PCR results for RHDV-2 from domestic rabbit liver tissue in New Mexico. Subsequently, RHDV-2 has since been detected in the following states:
The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) is aware of Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease (RHD) and its implications to the industry. There is a conditionally licensed vaccine approved for use in the United States for RHD. The State Veterinarian has given permission for the vaccine to be distributed to licensed veterinarians in Nebraska, who will order and distribute the vaccine to clients. For more information, view this press release.
RHD is a notifiable Foreign Animal Disease and individuals or practitioners who suspect or have concerns about RHD in domestic or wild hare populations should contact NDA or USDA-APHIS-VS. NDA and USDA’s Foreign Animal Disease Diagnosticians are prepared to collect and submit samples for RHD.
Biosecurity Recommendations to Protect Your Rabbits: