Incidence, epizootiology and control of viral haemorrhagic disease of rabbits and the European brown hare syndrome in Germany
Rev Sci Tech Off Int Epizoot
Viral haemorrhagic disease (VHD) among domestic and wild rabbits and European brown hares have been observed in most of the Federal states of Germany. Acute outbreaks of viral haemorrhagic disease are most prevalent in small, fancy domestic rabbitries, with mortality varying between 5 and 90%, while mostly sporadic losses due to VHD are seen among wild rabbits. In hares, accumulated losses from the European brown hare syndrome (EBHS) can occasionally be observed in areas where fresh green feed,
... e fresh green feed, such as young O.O-rape plants, is available. VHD of rabbits and EBHS are caused by calicivirus strains. The natural virus reservoirs are wild rabbit and hare populations. Mutual infection of rabbits and hares seems to be possible. Transmission and spread of infectious virus occurs by direct contact of animals, or indirectly by contaminated excrement, green feed or living vectors. Calicivirus infections are widespread in several states, with accumulation of losses among domestic and wild rabbits by VHD, or in hares by EBHS, within certain areas. Disease hygiene, together with vaccination, are the officially preferred control measures in domestic rabbitries.