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Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus 2 (RHDV2)


Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease is a highly infectious, reportable, and fatal animal disease caused by Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus Type 2 (RHDV2). The RHDV2 virus can cause rapid-onset disease. Often the only sign of illness is sudden death in domestic and wild rabbits, wild hares, and pikas.

Information and symptoms of RHDV2, how it spreads and how to prevent contamination, and guidance for rabbit owners, breeders and hunters can be found here.

Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfection of Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus Contaminated Premises
USDA Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus 2 video
State Veterinarian’s Order

Rabbits, hares, and pikas entering Tennessee from another state must have a health certificate from the state of origin to enter. The certificate is valid for 30 days. Animals from states with a confirmed case of RHDV2 in the past eight months are required to have a health certificate within 72 hours of entry.

If you have information about rabbits entering the state without a certificate, report this to the state veterinarian’s office at 615-837-5120.

Affected states are those with a confirmed case of RHDV2 in the past eight months. Current affected states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wyoming

A map of affected states can be found here.

It is the responsibility of fair, show, and exposition organizers to enforce state requirements for fairs and shows. State animal health officials may be present to check compliance.

There are currently no approved RHDV2 vaccines for use in the U.S. If the virus is detected in Tennessee, animal owners may contact their veterinarian who can request permission from the state veterinarian’s office to import the unlicensed vaccine. Vaccine Q&A can be found here.

If you find dead wild rabbits, do not handle them. Contact your Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency regional office.

Suspected cases of rabbit hemorrhagic disease should be reported immediately to the Tennessee State Veterinarian’s office at 615-837-5120.