Will Australian Virus to kill rabbits reach America?

Help Support RabbitTalk:

squidpop

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 28, 2012
Messages
782
Reaction score
1
Location
New Zealand
Hi, I used to post on here quite a lot when I first got my rabbits but haven't been here for a while. I'm an American living with rabbits in New Zealand and when I first got my rabbits learned everything I know from people on this site :)

I thought I would share to you, this bad, bad, news I read to day. They are releasing a new strain of Calici Virus which is like rabbit ebola. It is also known as Rabbit Hemorrhage Disease -RHD, aka Rabbit Calici -RCD.
The Calici virus is so contagious and spreads so fast it acts as if its airborne, it sticks to everything, clothes, hay, flys, and lives for a very long time- it lives 3 months in hay. This new version sounds worse than the first. I hope America bans anything coming in from Australia that could possible come into contact with the virus.

I don't mean to be fear mongering but I really do believe once this virus is released in Australia, likely hood it will reach American sole if pretty high.

Here's the news article about it how they are teaching farmers how to spread the virus and releasing in 2017. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-29/n ... ed/7367142


_______________________________________________
Below, is the information about the Virus from a petition that was circulating that outlines why it releasing this rabbit killing virus should not have been allowed.
------------------------------------------------------------------
Please register my opposition to the proposed application to register RCD/RHD/VHD coated baits in Australia as a biological control agent of wild rabbits.

I believe that the Australian authorities failed to fully consult the global community in making the decision to declare RCD/RHD a biological control agent. The Australian authorities also failed to consult the most notable international calicivirus experts for their opinions on the safety of using RHD/RCD as a biological control agent. The international working committee on caliciviruses were also not consulted by the Australian authorities for its learned opinion concerning the potential dangers of deliberately spreading RCD/RHD across the Australian continent.

Four out of the five major calicivirus groups were known to cause disease in humans at the time the RCD/RHD virus was legalised as a biocontrol of European rabbits in Australia. RCD/RHD has existed in its current state only since it first appeared in China in 1984 and little is known about the origin of the disease. Also, there are no safe vaccines to protect non-target species and there is no funded research world wide to search for potential infection by RCD/RHD in non-rabbit species. According to CSIRO research, high antibody levels of RCD/RHD were found in many species never before infected by RCD/RHD. Also, according to the 1996 BRS report on RCD/RHD some non-exposed animals (chicken, falcon and blue-tongued lizard) tested positive to RCD/RHD by having antibody levels to RCD greater than the cut off point of 30%. Some animals such as mice showed signs of infection (anti-body levels higher than 30%) after being deliberately infected with RCD.

Antibodies to RCD were found in a Mexican laboratory worker and it is quite likely that humans will be affected by RCD/RHD exposure.

An article in Medline shows pigs may be susceptible to RHD. "1: Can J Vet Res 2000 Apr;64(2):134-7.
Susceptibility of piglets to rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus following experimental infection.
Shien JH, Lee LH.
Department of Veterinary Medicine, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung, Taiwan.
The possibility exists that rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) can be transmitted to swine, through lapinized hog cholera virus (HCV) vaccine. To investigate the infectivity of RHDV in swine, 16 four- to six-week-old piglets were inoculated subcutaneously with RHDV, and samples of liver, lung, spleen, kidney, bile, adrenal gland, tonsil, mesenteric lymph node, thymus, urine, buffy coat, and feces were collected from each of 2 animals on Days 0, 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 14, and 28 post infection. Using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, viral RNA was detected in most tissues by Day 3 and was absent after Day 5, except in lung and liver tissues, in which viral RNA was detected up to Day 14. Viral RNA was not detected in kidney, urine, feces or bile. Antibody responses, as detected by hemagglutination inhibition, were of low titer and short duration, and were similar in animals inoculated with viable RHD and in those given formalin-inactivated RHDV (n = 2). Neither viral RNA nor antibody were detected in the negative control or in the uninfected, in-contact animals.
PMID: 10805254 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
[If the researchers were finding RHD in the tissues of the pig's liver and lungs at day 14 that means the RHD is replicating].

Dr Alvin Smith (Professor of Calicivirus Studies) at Oregon State University has studied caliciviruses for over 20 years. The Biological Control Authority did not address Dr Smith's concerns regarding the dangers of using RHD as a biological control agent but chose to ignore them. The BRS Report August 1996 on RCD did nothing to address the concerns of many international scientists who oppose the use of RCD as a biological control agent.In a letter to the New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture (11th April 1997) Dr Smith wrote:
"1. The origins (mutation or non-rabbit host) of RHD in China in 1984 remain unknown.

2. The genetic determinants and mechanisms resulting in a rapid and bloody RHD induced death are unknown.

3. The modes of RHD transmission across ocean channels and between continents are unknown.

4. The mechanisms of RHD transmission, which is sometimes rapid and sometimes leap-frog (hundreds of kilometers), are unknown.

5. The reason for failure of RHD to transmit even under contact conditions in fenced enclosures (Wardang Island) are unknown.

6. The host range of RHD is virtually certain to extend well beyond rabbits (Geelong experiment showing 2-17 fold antibody increases in 11 test species using purported subimmunogenic virus doses) but remains unknown.

7. Diagnostic reagents for RHD lack the specificity and sensitivity to carry out adequate epidemiologic assays, particularly in non-rabbit species including humans.

8. RHD vaccines for rabbits in Spain are reported over time to have become less protective.

9. RHD vaccines are not available to protect any non-rabbit species at risk, including humans.

10. RHD has not been shown (using proven and acceptable scientific methods) to be caused by a calicivirus alone; therefore, the infectious makeup of RHD is unknown.

11. RHD cannot be propagated in cell culture. Yet, that was a stated essential CSIRO requirement to be met before infectivity studies were to be carried out (1994 BRS report).

12. Contrary to the report that there was no evidence of human health risk in a study of this issue in Australia, the data indicated health was adversely affected. Because the study was so poorly designed, it is impossible to conclude with certainty what the actual status of health risk is.

13. In Australia, RHD is uncontrollable, unpredictable, and often unreliable as a rabbit control agent. Thus, the reality of RHD now loose in the countryside has turned virtually every Australian/New Zealand RHD program prediction and pronouncement into a statement of foolishness."

Taking into account all of the above, it is obvious that the risks to humans and all other species currently being blanketed with RCD/RHD by the Australian authorities outweigh any perceived benefits as put forth by Australian authorities. Also, the continued deliberate spread of RCD/RHD by Australian authorities is causing an increased likelihood of spreading RCD/RHD to the rest of the world (where RCD/RHD is unwanted). It is true that over 40 countries may have RCD/RHD on their shores. However, RCD/RHD arrived in those countries univited and unwanted as the result of epidemic. Many countries who value their rabbit populations would rather see the demise of the RCD/RHD than their rabbits. I also disagree strongly on moral and ethical grounds with the use of deadly diseases as biological control agents of any species. No-one can ever determine that a deadly virus will stay specific to one host and the deliberate introduction and spread of such deadly exotic viruses from one country to another poses unacceptable risks of cross species infection to all species.

Please ask the APVMA to de-register the live RCD/RHD virus as a licensed chemical product. Also ,please call for an open and independent public inquiry into (a)how the RCD virus was allowed to escape onto the Australian mainland (and who allowed this to happen) and (b)how RCD/RHD [a deadly hemorrhagic virus of mammals] was ever allowed to become registered as a safe and acceptable veterinary chemical product by the APVMA in Australia when international calicivirus experts (who believe RCD/RHD is unsafe to deliberately spread across Australia) were not consulted.
I am also aware of the painful ear-rot that is occuring in New Zealand wild rabbits since farmers illegally imported and spread RCD/VHD on baits there. The ear-rot in New Zealand rabbits associated with RCD spread on baits is discussed in the February 1999 issue of the New Zealand Veterinary Journal. Pictures and an explanation of the New Zealand ear-rot rabbits are available on the internet at http://www.iinet.net.au/~rabbit/earadv.htm

Yours sincerely,
 

Preitler

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 15, 2014
Messages
1,083
Reaction score
291
Location
Austria
Is this this relativly new RHDv2 I read about already spreading in parts of Germany? Or something new entirely?

I'd rather see the australians making rabbit hunting a popular sport, and organising rabbit safaris for tourists....
 

squidpop

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 28, 2012
Messages
782
Reaction score
1
Location
New Zealand
The RHDV2 was just recently found in some rabbit in Australia last year. No one knows how it got into Australia. It could have been smuggled in by a farmer or it could have gotten there accidentally. So interesting to hear they are asking the same thing in Germany. :eek: If it got in accidentally that just goes to show how easily it spreads and that it really could get to the US. That's why I posted here.

But the post I made is also about how they are also purposely releasing the Korean version which is different then the original RHD and the RHDV2 on purpose in a mass release all over Australia.
 

squidpop

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 28, 2012
Messages
782
Reaction score
1
Location
New Zealand
I think they could manage the rabbit problem just by hunting, but some farmers say there is not enough ammunition, and some land is so steep and hilly hunters can't easily get to the rabbits.

Here is a photo of a rabbit hunt they hold once a year if they would just do it three times a year maybe that would do it.
This year they shot 23,064 rabbits just in this one yearly hunt. Articles says there were 39 teams and the hunt lasted 24-hours, each team went to a different area of land in Otago and then met back up so rabbit could be counted.
thousands_of_dead_rabbits_carpet_pioneer_park_in_a_8673488934.JPG
 

Galadriel

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 1, 2010
Messages
563
Reaction score
0
Location
Louisiana
Oh, yeah, let's do it again because IT WORKED SO WELL THE FIRST TIME!!!!!!!!!!!! :explode: :explode: :explode:
 

Nymphadora

Well-known member
Joined
May 2, 2016
Messages
862
Reaction score
4
Location
California, US
Yeah, I'm definitely leary of situations like this, because genetics are still complicated and so many things could go wrong... that bunny hunt looks pretty successful though! :p If they were to enstate that 3 times a year, would it really keep the bunnies at manageable levels, you think? Also, on a more personal curiosity, do the people that hunt the bunnies get to take them home to cook/skin/etc.? Sounds like a lot of free furs to me :lol:
 

aussiegirl

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 21, 2015
Messages
67
Reaction score
0
Location
Australia, NSW
Yep, they have released the Korean strain (an upgraded version) of the calicivirus in certain areas around Australia, one of the locations that I am aware of is around 150km from me which has me quite concerned as I personally have over 100 meat rabbits & still growing, most of my rabbits are purebreds and of high quality (not many in Australia as mostly mixed breeds), I also have some extremely rare breeds that I am currently working on like the Thrianta, Tan, New Zealand Red and British Giant which I can't afford to lose. I have also recently found out that there is another unknown strain further South which is DEADLY (kills babies as young as 3 weeks old and also Vaccinated rabbits are at risk with this particular Virus).

I have always Vaccinated my rabbits against Calicivirus but most are due for their booster shot and there hasn't been any vaccine available, I have been waiting for at least a month while the company is apparently still making it. I am quite annoyed to say the least that this company has no regards to the people making a living of their rabbits like myself or for rabbit owners in general.

I have had to introduce strict quarantine measures via foot baths, shoes covers or a special disinfectant sprayed on shoes etc for anyone coming onto the property even though they might not be near the rabbits. This method won't guarantee the safety of my rabbits as these viruses are highly contagious and can be brought in any way but hopefully I can minimize their chances.
 

ladysown

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Dec 26, 2009
Messages
8,322
Reaction score
684
Location
near London, Ontario
The rabbit virus is already in the USA. It's had some spotty cases here in Canada causes eradication of herds infected. In the states, if there are confirmed cases you can work with your vet to set up vaccination clinics. There is a really good facebook group that follow the progress of the disease. Last I heard it was in OHIO. I'm pretty sure that COVID has slowed down the progress of this devastating disease.
 

KelleyBee

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 29, 2021
Messages
364
Reaction score
302
Location
Southwestern Pennsylvania
Is there perhaps a better link? This one takes me to a map that says it’s an “untitled “ layer. To me, I can’t accept as valid as it might be a layer for something else. Are there articles out there to support what is shown on this map? Does the link take you to a map with the same message as what I am getting? I am very interested to know if this thing has really made it to our continent.
 

HTAcres

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 18, 2021
Messages
195
Reaction score
206
Is there perhaps a better link? This one takes me to a map that says it’s an “untitled “ layer. To me, I can’t accept as valid as it might be a layer for something else. Are there articles out there to support what is shown on this map? Does the link take you to a map with the same message as what I am getting? I am very interested to know if this thing has really made it to our continent.
Well, I get most of my information about the viruses from the dreadful Facebook and I knew I couldn't send you there! lol
Let me see what else I can find, pretty sure there is a website. I know that the virus is here because it has been confirmed within an hour of where I live. I know there are several viruses and I am not an expert on the differences.
 

PoppyLapine

Active member
Joined
Aug 18, 2020
Messages
25
Reaction score
3
Location
Arizona
The ARBA website also has a live map and some extra articles too.
 
Top