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Myxomatosis Issues


Myxomatosis The Main Points

The Human Aspect
Greif and loss suffered by those who love their pet rabbits is as great as that suffered when they lose their dog.  Children are frequently involved and cry for their lost bunnies. Vets who have to euthanase rabbits suffer distress and feel unable to help.

Wild Rabbits Issue
*Domestic rabbits don’t survive in the wild for these reasons:
     * they are caught again by their owners or others
     * they are too delicate and also need specific food and care to live
     * reliant on humans for their food and water – can’t find water – if they find a dog’s water the dog would kill them
     * dogs kill them
     *  run over by cars
     * die from lack of shelter and stress
     * long haired breeds fur would knot up and stop them being able to move about thus they would die
     * In England the vaccinated domestic rabbits have no impact on the wild rabbit population who continue to die from the disease
*Wild rabbits have built up some immunity already and the Calicivirus is quicker and more effective as a culling virus
*Domestic rabbits are currently allowed to have the Calicivirus vaccine but not the Myxomatosis vaccine!

The Rabbit Sanctuary
Set up to assist people to help domestic rabbits that find themselves in difficult circumstances providing an adoption service and care for rabbits needing a home. We liase with RSPCA, interstate and local animal welfare groups such as Happy Paws Haven to assist with the rehoming of rabbits.  Rabbits that come to the Rabbit Sanctuary are housed in secure lawn hutches and we have the Big Rabbit Run which is 90 x 30 meters where the bunnies hop in and out of their little houses and form friendship groups.  All rabbits are vaccinated against Calicivirus on arrival and desexed as appropriate by Riverbank Animal Hospital at South Grafton who provides sponsorship for The Rabbit Sanctuary for which we are very grateful.

Losses at The Rabbit Sanctuary to Myxomatosis
Our losses have been great.  Many of the rabbits have succumbed to this horrendous and unnecessary disease.
Dr Chris Gough from Riverbank Animal Hospital has provided in excess of $4,000 worth of veterinary care to help at his own expense which we are very grateful for as he was able to ease the rabbits suffering.  The tragedy is that there is no known cure for Myxomatosis.  We have lost rabbits that we isolated in closed rooms so we believe the disease to be airborne as some research shows.  The implications of this are that there is nothing that can totally protect pet rabbits from the disease other than the vaccine which is tragically not available to pet rabbit owners in Australia.

Protection of Pet Rabbits against the Myxomatosis disease

  • Fly screen will help keep mosquitoes away
  • Keep rabbits inside the house
  • Keep rabbits flea treated with

The Campaign
Send a Rabbit to Canberra
We are encouraging people to send a toy or stuffed rabbit to the Australian Government in Canberra with a note asking them to release the Myxomatosis vaccine to veterinarians to use to protect their client’s pet rabbits. 
We are seeking support from veterinarians and the public.
Send a note and include your toy bunny and mail to:
The Hon Joe Ludwig MP, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries & Forestry, PO Box 6022, House of Representatives, Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600

Kim Cooney, Manager, The Rabbit Sanctuary, Ph: 0416 062 947
Web: www.rabbitsanctuary.com.au Email: rabbitrescuesanctuary@gmail.com

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Riverbank Animal Hospital (Formerly South Grafton Veterinary Clinic)
60 Through Street, South Grafton, NSW 2460, Australia
Ph 02 6642 3083 - Click here to send us an email
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