Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters


Update: Rabbit hemorrhagic disease outbreak

April 17, 2018 BC SPCA News

On the morning of April 16 a rabbit in the care of our BC SPCA Education & Adoption Centre in Richmond, who had been healthy the day before, was found deceased. We have sent the rabbit for testing for Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease, which has recently been confirmed in Richmond. Even though biosecurity measures and visitor restrictions were already in place, out of an abundance of caution, we will be closed for at least two days while we learn more and thoroughly clean the centre.

Apr.19/18 update: The little fellow’s necropsy determined he had colon cancer.

Rabbit hemorrhagic disease (RHD) has now been confirmed in Nanaimo, Comox, Courtenay, Parksville, Richmond, and on Annacis Island. The BC SPCA has temporarily suspended intake of rabbits into all Island and Lower Mainland shelters and placed visitor restrictions on these branches. We will be vaccinating all shelter and foster rabbits in these regions next week. At this time, none of our facilities are offering vaccines to the public. We recommend that concerned rabbit guardians contact their veterinarian to inquire about the vaccine.

Additional control measures are also in place restricting some animal transfers, implementing a rabbit quarantine period prior to adoption for Island, Lower Mainland, and Interior shelters, and asking visitors to all BC SPCA shelters provincially who have been in affected areas to change clothing/ disinfect shoes and hands prior to entering the facility.

BC SPCA Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Information Sheet for Shelters, Rescues & Sanctuaries

Read more: Pasteurellosis and other illnesses; food pyramid; 2018 deadly rabbit virus hits mid-Van. Island, spreads beyond; hits lower mainland