What can you do to help keep your rabbit safe?
The New Zealand Veterinary Association recommends the following measures to reduce the risk of a pet rabbit being in contact with a Calicivirus:
- Control insects (especially flies and fleas) as much as possible both indoors and outdoors.
- Remove uneaten food on a daily basis to help avoid attracting flies.
- Keep pet rabbits indoors where possible.
- Rabbit-proof backyards to prevent access of wild rabbits.
- Regularly clean rabbit hutches, cages and bowls etc with either 10% bleach or 10% sodium hydroxide, leave for 10 minutes, then rinse off.
- Limit contact with and handling of unfamiliar pet rabbits. Take special precautions if attending any events where unfamiliar rabbits are present, such as petting zoos, rabbit shows and rescue centres.
- Use good biosecurity measures (eg. wash hands, shoes and clothing) after handling other people’s rabbits.
- Avoid cutting grass and feeding it to your rabbits (if there is the risk of contamination from wild rabbits).
- Isolate new rabbits for seven days before introducing to other rabbits.
- Rinse all leafy greens well before feeding them to rabbits. While feeding rabbits leafy greens remains a risk for introducing RHDV2, the benefits of feeding these is considered to outweigh the risks.