Idaho Addressing First Cases of RHD

State officials in Idaho recently confirmed two cases of Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease in two wild jackrabbits in Ada County. Idaho state Department of Agriculture veterinarian, Dr. Scott Leibsle, said RHD is extremely contagious for both wild and domestic rabbits, making it especially concerning for the agriculture community.

“The concern is that we’ve identified RHD in wild rabbits, but the important thing to remind domestic rabbit owners is that you need to protect your domestic rabbit colonies from any type of interaction with wild rabbits especially in the area that RHD has been identified.”

RHD is not known to have an impact for humans, livestock or other of pets. State veterinarian, Leibsle​ added the most important thing domestic rabbit owners need to do is practice strong biosecurity.

“That is to keep domestic rabbit populations separate and apart, no access to wild rabbits to a colony or any proximity. Wash your hands, wash your boots before contact with domestic rabbits.”

Most likely RHD is going to be an ongoing issue in Idaho because once the virus has established itself in a wild rabbit colony, it’s difficult to eradicate. ​

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