Inestimable numbers of vaccinated pet rabbits suffer and die for no justifiable reason whatsoever.
The original introduced RHVD1 has been superseded by a more lethally effective strain RHVD2. This virus is a highly contagious killer and it doesn't discriminate. It will kill your bunny just as efficiently as targeted, feral rabbits. If it's not in your area today who's to say it doesn't arrive anytime tomorrow?
Rabbit caliciviruses are proven to be uncontainable. Once infected there is no medical treatment that will save your pet from this insidious, lethal disease.
Why are those responsible continuing to ignore the fact that they're releasing viruses, which are exterminating our vaccinated pets? Some may say it's collateral damage, I say it's ultimate cruelty! Causing thousands of senseless deaths to helpless, innocent bunnies was and is preventable. We desperately need a specific vaccine NOW - it's the only way to save their precious lives.
Deadly RHDV (calicivirus)
(warning - images and content may upset the feint hearted)
RHDV (calicivirus) can rampantly spread everywhere!
No bunny is safe - currently vaccinated or not. Our Australian government doesn't care about your pet given that they knowingly decided to go ahead and release RHDV2. Unlike previously released RHVD1 there's not a drop of suitably protective vaccine to be had. Similar to humans having updated annual flu vaccines it's become clearly obvious that we need to have modified/upgraded RHD vaccines designed to suit whichever strains are circulating in the field.
All pet rabbit owners are asking for is just a basic requirement of access to a vaccine that provides optimal protection for their beloved pets.
Any of the above plus a multitude of other possible contaminants (some even suggest to include wind blowing dust particles) could potentially transport the virus on or near your bunny.
The craziest thing is for many years we haven't been able to import fancy breeds on the ridiculous off chance that they may introduce infectious diseases into Australian rabbit populations! For this reason the majority of our rabbit breeds are likely to become more and more inbred and as a natural consequence potentially introduce health issues and or a decline in breeding. Now with the onslaught of an epidemic virus so few breeds will be left they may be either on the brink of extinction or worst case scenario oblivion.
Does anyone care?
As an animal lover, please show your support by joining Facebook group: Against K 5 Virus and For a Vaccine to Save Rabbits from RHDV2: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1486751604975052/
Members of this innovative helpful site are fighting their hardest to make a difference. Pet rabbits and their devastated owners desperately need you to voice your care and concern. To date, they've never had a choice in the matter and whatever they've endured just seems to be casually ignored or has fallen on deaf ears.
You can also sign online petitions:
Link to petition appealing for an RHDV2 vaccine: https://goo.gl/mNDtGb
Link to petition against K5 release: https://goo.gl/eBTMZm
Please help these worthy campaigners by sharing warnings and information with your friends and family as well as adding the above links to your website and various social media outlets.
If you have endured the living nightmare and feel utterly helpless there's the ‘don't get mad - get even' option. Put your name down on the group's class action list - see Facebook file:
(if so, I'd recommend everyone keep records (including photos) to help validate their cases)
It's a great shame if numerous heartfelt petitions (including myxomatosis) to government authorities continue to be shoved on their departmental shelves to gather thick layers of dust. It's also too easy for those in power positions to ignore us so they can carry on as per usual.
RHDV2 is now the virus of choice and will continue to be officially released all over the country. Sadly, pet rabbits will continue to be casualties of deliberately released ‘biological control warfare'. Those responsible need to be made clearly aware of their careless blunders!
One of the most effective actions is to talk to the media and hold your dead rabbits up for everyone to see! Any decent human being will surely join the protest against such absolute cruelty to animals. If help doesn't arrive soon Australian pet rabbits will continue to decline in frightening numbers. Not to mention the dire consequences of trying to survive continuous releases (deliberate and accidental) as well as naturally occurring outbreaks from one year to the next.
Deadly virus way too close to home!
As from late 2016 through to early 2017 deaths attributed to Calicivirus (feral and or pet) in ACT and surrounding areas were reported in: Bonner, Burra, Calwell, Deakin, Googong, Goulburn, Hackett, Holt, Latham, McGregor, Queanbeyan, Tarago, Tharwa, Theodore, Tuggeranong & Weston.
(Even though RHDV2 was active in my area Googong to date it hasn't arrived on our property. I have no idea why as we have an abundant number of insects and bird life as well as numerous visitors - human or other. One possible explanation could be perhaps our home is positioned sort of in the middle of 15 acres of open grazing land rather than a bush block. For this reason we don't have any resident wild rabbits but am sure that's not the case with neighbours across the way. Taking care of others pets is a massive responsibility, which for the sake of their best interests I'd quarantine for 7 ½ months, as this is how long the resilient the new strain can contaminate an environment. And if or when that happens the rabbit side of my boarding services may as well close down and I'd only be able to look after guinea pigs!)
See other states listed in Facebook group files under the title ‘Update for losses . . . from June 2016 to current': https://www.facebook.com/groups/1486751604975052/files/
* Plus the 'must see' official Rabbit Sightings Map: http://www.feralscan.org.au/rabbitscan/map.aspx?mapMode=rhdv
On the left hand side tick the box Release Sites and then view the reality of all the orange/gold stars lighting up the map of Australia like a Xmas tree! This gut-wrenching ‘real time' evidence is massively confronting. It's a frightening sight to see all those colourful stars and balloons highlighting such close proximity and helpless vulnerability to everyone's valuable pet rabbits.
So beautifully alive one day . . .
. . . and then tragically gone the next!
(photos courtesy of Sealed with a Lop Kiss Rabbitry)
Or take for example how can you stop it arriving on just about anything or anyone such as:
> Your cat, dog (plus the neighbours or strays), roaming foxes hunting at night, numerous birds, rodents and insects - all of these are naturally drawn to deceased rabbits and therefore major conducers for spreading disease.
> Human transference (after having come in contact with the virus) such as yourself, family members, friends, footwear, clothing, car tyres and so on. (Take the time to watch the movie 'Contagion' (2011) and you'll soon see how horrifically easy it is to spread a virus!
See trailer: http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi3924270105
> Consider it's unknown whether it is safe potentially lethal to feed bunnies their necessary sources of vegetation such as grass, weeds, hay, pellets, rabbit mixes, veggies and so on and so forth.
Whilst biological control programs are in war with feral pest rabbits they're also succeeding in eradicating pet bunnies. Like any contagion a limited percentage of bunnies could survive for a time in pocketed areas. These survivors however are sitting ducks waiting for the stray bullet to come their way.
There's really nothing much we can do! Viruses are invisible and therefore able to survive or re contaminate even the most fastidious preventative measures. It could take just one little fly to visit any little bunny and next thing you know it's dead - the unsuspecting, vulnerable bunny - not the fly of course!
More about RHDV2
Highly contagious - for example it just takes one touch to contaminate.
Capable of infecting baby rabbits still in the nest.
Incubation takes from 48 to 72 hours leading to rabbit's ultimate death.
Symptoms vary and usually not very obvious as you could easily miss noticing lack of activity, poor or no appetite, dehydration and raised temperature. Typical to the instincts of prey animals rabbits naturally avoid attracting predators. Whenever injured or sick they'll quietly huddle in a corner. Unfortunately an actual state of 'suffering in silence' could be misinterpreted as a quick, painless death!
Rabbits experience massive liver damage, bleeding into the abdominal cavity, blood clots in major organs (heart, lungs) resulting in heart and respiratory failure.
In the final stages some pets may appear paralysed and or thrash in convulsion whilst screaming in agony.
If weather temperatures are moderate the RHVD2 strain can remain in the environment for up to 7 ½ months. It can also survive freezing and or up 50 degrees Celsius for about an hour.
Although rabbit clubs advise a 4-month quarantine (following British governing body) the timeframe hasn't adjusted from the former RHDV1 to the new strain.
Incurable - No medical treatment available!
How many viruses do we have to worry about?
As from December 2016 the documented list of calici strains accidently or deliberately released around Australia are:
(1) RHDV1 v351 (Czech strain) - the original virus, which ‘accidentally escaped' in 1996 and then following year ‘officially' sanctioned for release. This is the only strain covered by Cylap vaccine.
(2) RHDV1 (Chinese strain, similar family to K5) - an outbreak occurred in 2012/13 though reportedly contained.
(3) RHDV1 K5 (Korean strain) - yet another apparently more powerful stain released in March 2017.
(4) RHVD2 is one of thirty-eight calici type viruses tested during the RVD Boost programme. Bio security however failed once again in yet another ‘accidentally' escaped contagion. Naturally of course the only way we find out was after an RSPCA report to the news media (December 2015) that it killed their vaccinated rabbits: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/deadly-european-calicivirus-killing-pet-rabbits-in-the-act-rspca-warns-20151208-gli2g6.html
Many pet rabbits also died at the time including breeders confirming the new strain via autopsy.
So, authorities were pre warned for 12 months or more that RHDV2 kills Cylap vaccinated rabbits. Since then and to this day they're knowingly making no effort to supply an upgraded vaccine. It's unfathomable how they can continue to ignore the dire and disastrous consequence they're causing to domesticated pets.
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Here for your convenience is a very helpful instruction on how to DIY Vaccinate.
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And simple sheet for your vaccination records