Colorado approves use of new Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease vaccine
“After seeing many devastating cases of Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease across the state since last year, we are pleased to make the new Medgene Labs RHDV2 available to Colorado veterinarians in order to protect our state's domestic rabbit population,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Maggie Baldwin.
“It is important to remember, however, that vaccination is only one of the tools available to prevent this disease. The most important thing that rabbit owners can use is to implement good biosecurity and prevent their rabbits from interacting with wild rabbits.”
RHDV2 is a highly contagious and fatal foreign animal disease that affects both domestic and wild rabbits. Since April 2020, it has spread across 14 states and has been classified as stable endemic in the wild rabbit population in much of the western United States. Wild rabbits will continue to be a risk for introduction of the disease into our domestic population.
The last positive case of RHDV2 in Colorado was diagnosed in a domestic rabbit in July 2021 in El Paso county.
Until recently, there were no U.S. licensed RHDV2 vaccines available. Since Colorado’s first outbreak in 2020, the State Veterinarian’s Office worked with the United State Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Center for Veterinary Biologics (CVB) to approve importation of the vaccine from the European Union.
The new Medgene RHDV2 vaccine will be available for vaccination of domestic rabbits by Colorado licensed veterinarians. ■