Bunny owners can now get their hands on a vaccine to protect their pets against rabbit hemorrhagic disease.
The B.C. Ministry of Agriculture announced Monday that the first batch of vaccine has arrived from France and is being distributed to 50 veterinary clinics.
According to a B.C. government press release, the province bought all the vaccine the manufacturer had available – 1,090 individual doses and 42 multi-dose vials. Another shipment is expected next month.
“The vaccine needed to be imported by the province through a specialized emergency-use federal-permitting process,” the press release notes.
Rabbit hemorrhagic disease is “extremely infectious and lethal,” causing internal bleeding and organ damage, the release adds.
The ministry notes that tests have been done on the dead bodies of 20 feral rabbits and seven domestic rabbits; 19 of the 20 feral rabbits died of rabbit hemorrhagic disease and two of seven domestic rabbits died of the disease. Rabbits that tested positive were from Nanaimo, Comox, Courtenay, Parksville, Delta and Richmond.
The ministry is continuing to test for the disease, but as of last week said there were no plans to investigate the source of the disease.
The disease poses no threat to other animals or to humans. For information about keeping pet rabbits safe, follow this link.