Rabbit owners are being asked to request the Filivac vaccine from their vets, to combat rabbit haemorrhagic disease. (News Bulletin file photo)

Rabbit owners are being asked to request the Filivac vaccine from their vets, to combat rabbit haemorrhagic disease. (News Bulletin file photo)

Rabbit owners urged to request vaccine for their pets, to protect against RHD

Last spring the Comox Valley was declared a “hot spot” for the deadly rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD).

Many European feral rabbits died from it in our area. On a one-time emergency basis, Dr. Jane Pritchard, B.C.’s Chief Veterinary Officer, imported an emergency supply of Filivac, an effective vaccine which helped stop the spread of this highly contagious disease. As RHD has the potential to resurface at any time, many rabbit owners in B.C. are eager to have their animals re-vaccinated this year.

To help ensure that a new batch of Filavac vaccine can be imported this year, Comox Valley rabbit owners are being asked to contact their rabbit vets to express the need for the vaccine and the number of doses required. If your vet is not ordering the vaccine, they will pass the request on to a clinic that is. The count must be completed by the third week of March.

This year, a vet from the Lower Mainland has taken on the massive job of applying for the importation permit and ordering of the vaccine for the whole province. The order will be places in the first week of April and only one order will be placed. The more people that respond, the lower the cost per dose will be for everyone. Let us keep the Valley free from RHD.