Whitehorse City Council

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WARNING: Vaccinate your pet rabbit to prevent the spread of rabbit calicivirus

9 Mar 2017

Have you vaccinated your pet rabbit?

The Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources issued an alert to all pet rabbit owners that their rabbit must be vaccinated to prevent the new strain of rabbit calicivirus from spreading.

A new strain of rabbit calicivirus is currently being released in Victoria, to assist in the management of pest rabbits.
The new strain of calicivirus, referred to as RHDV1 K5 or simply 'K5', is a variant of the existing calicivirus already established and widespread across Australia.

A vaccine (Cylap®) is available, to help protect pet rabbits from the various strains of calicivirus.

Pet rabbit owners should make sure animals’ vaccinations are up-to-date to protect against the virus.

Note: The Australian Veterinary Association recommends that for best protection against the current virus about to be released (RHDV1-K5), previously released variants (RHDV1, RHDV1A) and the variant that emerged in parts of Australia in 2015 called  RHDV2, the following protocols should be followed in consultation with your local veterinarian.

  • Kittens: 4, 8, 12 weeks of age, then every 6 months. 
  • Adults: 2 vaccinations 1 month apart, then every 6 months.

To arrange a vaccination appointment for your pet rabbit, please get in touch with your veterinary clinic as soon as possible.

For further information please contact the Animal Education Officer on 9262 6621 or visit the following websites below:





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