Rare and Lethal Rabbit Virus found Near Naniamo, BC
Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resources Operations have announced on their news feed that several feral rabbits ( domestic bunnies released into the wild) were found dead from the Calicivirus which is a mostly fatal hemorrhagic disease. This strain is only dangerous to domestic rabbits of European descent which is all pet and food bunnies bred for pet stores, food, and show.
Please take extra precautions if you are on the hunt for a new bunny and are looking for stock on the island or from other breeders who have recently picked up stock from the island. Ask lots of questions. How do they handle their rabbits in their rabbitry? What is their procedure to limit infections spread? The dangers of this virus is that is airborne so people in areas that have been infected should be changing their clothes before interacting with their rabbits. Hand washing will be very important before and after dealing with their bunnies. Being in an enclosed environment (indoors) will help reduce infection. Do they allow anybody into their rabbitry to view all their bunnies? This right now would put them into great risk which is why my rabbitry is running in a closed viewing. I will not be able to allow anyone into my rabbitry to view and handle my rabbits. I can provide pictures, videos and meet at a location away from my rabbitry and if you choose not to purchase my bunny it will be in quarantine for a couple of weeks before being allowed to go back in with the other bunnies.
If you currently have bunny that does get infected please take extreme precautions when disposing of the remains. Contact your local exotic veterinarian for more information.
Please feel free to reach out to me as well with questions or comments (cause I am not a journalist - i am sure i have made numerous grammatical errors). Also keep an eye for any updated news feeds from the BC Government.