Earlier this month, the Connecticut Department of Agriculture confirmed that rabbits in Hartford County have been affected by Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus Type 2. The virus can be deadly to domestic rabbits, but it cannot be transferred from animal to human. The disease has previously been reported in New York and has since spread through several states in the southwest.
While the source of this outbreak has not yet been found, people who travel to affected areas are being encouraged to practice sanitary and health measures. This includes disinfecting shoes and hiking boots. People also should be aware of signs of infection in rabbits. If you spot a dead rabbit, contact the wildlife authorities and a veterinarian.
After receiving reports of several rabbit deaths, the Connecticut Department of Agriculture investigated the cases to determine whether they were related to the RHDV virus. The initial investigation revealed that thirteen of the rabbits were infected with RHDV2. The virus is difficult to diagnose because of its unrecognizable name, but fortunately, the virus has no effect on humans.
The virus has been confirmed in several other parts of the country. The virus is not super prevalent, but it has spread rapidly and could wipe out small populations of rabbits. This is a concern, since rabbits play an important role in the ecosystem. They help control herbaceous vegetation and are part of a food chain for many predators.
The virus causes sudden deaths in previously healthy rabbits. The virus is spread through direct contact with an infected rabbit. It can also spread through the materials used to care for domestic rabbits. As a result, people should avoid releasing pet rabbits or allowing them to come into contact with wild rabbits.
The Department of Agriculture has proposed a bill that would allow for the slaughter of thousands of rabbits for human consumption. This bill will allow for factory-like rabbit farming in Connecticut, which will promote the growth of rabbit farming in the state. Currently, rabbits are not regulated as livestock in the United States and are not subject to the Federal Meat Inspection Act or the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service inspections. As a result, meat rabbits are often kept in filthy conditions and suffer disease.
The virus has affected rabbits in Connecticut, and it is causing them to die. It is a serious problem and one that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. Rabbits are vulnerable to many other issues. It is best to make sure you have an up-to-date vaccination list to protect your rabbits.