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Dear ARBA Board Members:

Today I had further discussions with representatives of the US government

concerning the status of the outbreak of Rabbit Calici Virus in Iowa. The

good news is there have been no additional outbreaks! The State of Iowa has

quarantined and "cleaned up" the area of the outbreak. Also, the adjacent

1.5 miles have been investigated with no problems identified. The focus now

is on the epidemiology of the outbreak (investigation) and traceback and

lookout for additional problems through contacts such as feed companies.

I told the representatives from USDA/APHIS today that the recommendation

from the ARBA at this time was to explore both use of vaccines and

eradication to control a disease outbreak. I explained to the

representatives that at this time we need to pursue all options until we

have adequate information to make a final decision.

They will investigate vaccines available worldwide to consider efficacy,

safety, etc. However, please remember that no vaccine is currently licensed

by USDA for use in rabbits in the USA. In addition, the use of an

eradication program will be further clarified. This is a prudent position

since at this time if only one or a few isolated cases occur we should

eradicate the disease rather than live with it. However, if widespread

outbreaks occur we must consider the option of vaccine use to control the


A final decision will be made based on the information at hand and an

evaluation of the risk. I want to emphasize that at this time each person

must do a "risk analysis" to determine the impact on their herd. Please

encourage everyone to remain calm and use common sense. Only then will we

be able to do what is best for the rabbit industry in the USA.

As additional information is received you will be updated.

Best regards,

Chris Hayhow

ARBA President


2001 National Rex Rabbit Club

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