Statement - Investigation into local outbreak of Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease in Quebec

OTTAWA, Aug. 25, 2016 /CNW/ - The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is investigating a local outbreak of Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD) in small hobby farms in Eastern Quebec.

Three farms near Rimouski, Quebec, are currently under investigation and quarantine to control the movement of animals, products and equipment to prevent the disease from spreading. The outbreak is restricted to small hobby farms. Commercial rabbit farms are currently not involved in this investigation. 

Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease is highly contagious and often deadly to affected rabbits. It is a virus that spreads between rabbits through secretions including saliva, runny eyes and nose, urine, feces and contaminated bedding, food and water. It can also be spread accidentally by humans, wildlife and insects or on infected meat or fur.

The disease does not affect humans and is not known to affect other animals.

Commercial and backyard farmers are reminded to practice biosecurity measures to reduce the risk of spreading the disease. Farmers should:

  • report any suspicious symptoms immediately to a veterinarian or the provincial veterinary authority, and
  • avoid bringing in new rabbits from a location where there has been illness or death in the previous 60 days.

The CFIA is working with the Province of Quebec on this investigation and will provide updates as they become available.

For more information on animal biosecurity and steps that can be taken to protect animals, please visit the CFIA website.


SOURCE Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)

For further information: Canadian Food Inspection Agency, 613-773-6600


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