Sunday, January 9, 2011

Melbourne, Australia Rabbits Disease Outbreak

My heart goes out to rabbit fans in Melbourne, Australia who find themselves very concerned about the outbreak of myxomatosis spreading throughout the city. One vet says it is the most cases he has seen in one month in the last 15 years. They believe the cause is the increase in the mosquito population that carries the disease due to the warm weather and rain. Myxomatosis can also be carried by flies and fleas. While there are some incidences of myxomatosis in the United States, they are isolated and normally on the Pacific coast with the last I know of in California this past year. See this article by the House Rabbit Society about this terrible disease.
Ironically, The Canaberra Times reports officials are warning agriculture ministers around the country of an impending rabbit plague in southeastern Australia. It is feared the prolonged wet spring conditions will increase feral rabbit numbers dramatically. Over the years the wild feral rabbits have become more resistant to rabbit calicivirus and myxomatosis which were introduced to control their populations.