Myxo in Melbourne
Rabbit Runaway closure
Five bantam bunnies
2011 Year of the Rabbit
Caution: pet rabbit craze
Life at the Do Hop Inn
Mosquito born epidemic
9 January 2011 – The Age Newspaper (Australia)MELBOURNE'Spet rabbits areunder threat froma suddenoutbreak ofmyxomatosis thatis strikinghutches acrossthe city.Vets who have not seen a case in 10 years are seeing sickrabbits, or getting calls from clients reporting deaths, everyday. There is nothing to do but put them down.The ''white blindness'', as Richard Adams called thedisease in the book
, has no cure. ''I'veseen three this week,'' says Dr Caitlin Horwood at theMaribyrnong Vets' Clinic in Footscray. ''It really is anepidemic; I've seen more in a month than I've seen in 15years.''She and her colleague, Dr Adrian Choi, blame the increasein the mosquito population, noticeable to anyone who findshimself out at dusk, thanks to warm weather and bouts ofrain. ''When it's hot and wet, the mozzies come out andinfect the rabbits and then rabbits infect each other.''At the Melbourne Rabbit Clinic in leafy, burrow-friendlyFerntree Gully, Dr Narelle Walter says she is taking 15 to20 calls a day from worried pet owners. ''We usually seesome myxomatosis in October to May but, with theincreased rain, it has spread a lot more. There were hotspots a couple of years ago, on the peninsula for example,but this year … it's everywhere.''Myxomatosis was introduced to Australia in 1950, in anattempt to eradicate the rabbits that were at plagueproportions. Estimates on numbers vary, but there werebetween 600 million and 1 billion rabbits in the wild.In Victoria, rabbits are our third favourite pet after cats anddogs. Increasingly, Dr Walter says, they are kept by adultsrather than children, hopping about indoors while theirowners are at work.Dr Horwood suspects that people dote on their bunniesmore than they used to, which means more people arereporting their deaths or taking them to the vet when they'reill than they would have bothered to do 10 years ago, whenthe disease flourished. But there is a spike in cases.Dr Horwood advises owners to keep their bunnies indoors,if possible, especially at dawn and sunset. Outside, amosquito net over the rabbit hutch and run can make adifference.Vaccines for myxomatosis exist in Britain and elsewhere,but are banned in Australia. The fear is that a ''live''vaccine, which inoculates the rabbit with a weak strain ofthe disease, could be accidentally released among the wildpopulation, thus neutering the disease as a weapon.Dr Peter Kerr at the CSIRO estimates that 90 per cent ofadult rabbits are infected with myxomatosis but show nosymptoms. ''It's nothing like 1950, when nearly 100 per centof affected rabbits died, but it probably still kills 40 to 50 percent of those infected,'' he says.
Please join Radical Rabbit’scampaign to demand the myxovaccine. We want you to help usmail one million toy bunnies to theMinister for Agriculture, Fisheries& Forestry to arrive by the 3
February 2011 (continuingthroughout the year) to help ourpet bunnies.Please visit Radical Rabbit’s website, sign our onlinepetition or print out our hard copy and ask your friends& family to sign. There are some common questions &answers about myxo to help you.Too many bunnies have died this year from thispreventable, introduced disease.
Rabbit Farm goes bust
7 Oct 2010 -http://sunshine-coast.finda.com.au/ (Aust)
The NSW Border Range Rabbit Farm has financiallycollapsed due to “disease problems” on the farm (myxo wesuspect).A Sunshine Coast businessman who established the rabbitfarm has also been accused of losing millions of dollarsfrom investors.(many rabbit farms in Australia would have been hard hit bymyxo this year. Sadly so many innocent bunnies died butat least they will not suffer at this farm any longer – BOING)