Rabbit Awareness Week (RAW) takes place 1 June to 9 June and its partners are urging veterinary practices to ensure they’re stocking necessary vaccines to protect rabbits against the deadly spread of rabbit viral haemorrhagic disease 2 (RVHD2).
RAW is organised by Burgess Pet Care and supported by many of the UK’s largest animal welfare organisations and charities. This year’s Protect and Prevent campaign is raising awareness around the dangers of RVHD2 and the importance of protecting rabbits with the necessary vaccinations.
Vaccination is vital to protect rabbits against RVHD2 and other diseases but sales figures for the RVHD2 vaccine show only 14% of rabbits in UK homes are vaccinated against the disease. The PDSA’s Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report 2018 found that 34% of rabbits in the UK are not registered with a vet.
Dr Suzanne Moyes, operations director at Burgess Pet Care, said: “RAW is a fantastic opportunity for vets to shine a spotlight on one of the most misunderstood animals in the UK by showcasing their rabbit expertise. We’re incredibly grateful for the support of the veterinary community who hold events every year and work with us, and the RAW partners, to help improve the lives of rabbits in the UK.
“Unfortunately, the RAW partners continue to receive calls from rabbit owners who aren’t being provided with the right information regarding preventative healthcare by their vet. Some rabbit owners are being wrongly informed by their vet that the combi vaccination for RVHD/myxomatosis also covers RVHD2, others are being told that their rabbits don’t need vaccinating because RVHD2 hasn’t been reported in their area so they’re not at risk.
“Vets must ensure they’re stocking the correct vaccines so they can provide the necessary levels of preventative healthcare needed to protect rabbits.”