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.
2001 National Rex Rabbit Club