We are aware of the large number of dead rabbits currently on the reserve. We have taken advice from a local vet, which is as follows:-
“This sounds like myxomatosis. Puffy eyes, swollen genitals, stupor are all classic signs. RHD virus tends to have very few symptoms prior to death however there is always the possibility that both virus are present. Unfortunately, we get waves of myxomatosis up and down the UK. It's claimed that 4 out of 5 wild rabbits succumb to this virus every year. As the population rises the natural inherited immunity in that population is diluted leaving many susceptible individuals. Once introduced into those populations by a vector then it spreads dramatically, causing horrendous mortality rates. Some immune survivors will then start to repopulate and the population slowly grows but without the virus present the selection pressure for natural immunity fades and the process happens again.
There isn't any effective treatment for symptomatic cases. It is only rabbits (and potentially hares) that will be affected. It will not affect dogs in any way. All pet rabbits should be vaccinated as it can be transferred by biting flies that are increasing in prevalence over the Summer.”
Prees Heath Report January - May 2022
Please click HERE to view.