Warn­ing to pro­tect pet rab­bits from virus

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - LOCAL SPORTS STARS -

RAB­BIT own­ers are ad­vised to take steps to pro­tect their pets from a new strain of rab­bit haem­or­rhagic dis­ease virus (RHDV1).

The virus, known as RHDV1 K5, was re­leased at 600 sites across the coun­try and more than 100 sites in WA in the first week of March to con­trol pest rab­bits, which wreak havoc on the en­vi­ron­ment and bio­di­ver­sity.

The Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture and Food is pro­vid­ing sup­port to WA land­hold­ers and com­mu­nity groups in­volved in the na­tional re­lease.

The depart­ment is alert­ing own­ers of do­mes­tic rab­bits to en­sure they are aware of the virus and re­mind them to con­tinue to pro­tect their pets from in­fec­tion as they would for the ex­ist­ing strain of rab­bit haem­or­rhagic dis­ease virus.

The virus is a nat­u­rally oc­cur­ring vari­ant of the virus that was re­leased in Aus­tralia in 1996, and is now wide­spread.

The vac­cine is avail­able for both strains.

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