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Press Releases

11/03/2021

CONNECTICUT STATE VETERINARIAN ANNOUNCES AVAILABILITY OF RABBIT HEMORRHAGIC DISEASE VIRUS VACCINE

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CONNECTICUT STATE VETERINARIAN ANNOUNCES AVAILABILITY OF RABBIT HEMORRHAGIC DISEASE VIRUS VACCINE

 

(STATEWIDE) Connecticut State Veterinarian, Dr. Jane Lewis, has announced that an experimental vaccine for Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV) has been approved for use by Connecticut licensed veterinarians.  Because this vaccine is unlicensed and there is currently no test available to distinguish infected from vaccinated animals, Dr. Lewis is requiring that veterinarians verify that rabbits who are receiving the vaccine have permanent identification, either in the form of tattoo or a microchip, and the identification must be recorded in the medical record.  Furthermore, the vaccine may not be resold or distributed to members of the public or to non-approved veterinary practices.

In February 2020, rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus serotype 2 (RHDV2) was detected in New York City and has subsequently spread through multiple states in the southwestern United States. RHDV2 infects both domestic and wild rabbits

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s Wildlife Division is working closely with the State Veterinarian’s office to monitor RHDV2. This disease could pose significant threats to the conservation of our only native wild rabbit, the New England cottontail, which already faces many conservation challenges and declining populations throughout much of its range. Remember, domestic or pet rabbits or hare should never be released into nature, since they may spread RHDV2 or other diseases. 

 

For more information on rabbit hemorrhagic disease:

The Connecticut Department of Agriculture (CT DoAg) mission is to foster a healthy economic, environmental, and social climate for agriculture by developing, promoting, and regulating agricultural businesses; protecting agricultural and aquacultural resources; enforcing laws pertaining to domestic animals; and promoting an understanding among the state's citizens of the diversity of Connecticut agriculture, its cultural heritage, and its contribution to the state's economy.

 

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For Immediate Release: Wednesday, November 3, 2021
Media Contact: Rebecca Eddy
Rebecca.Eddy@ct.gov